Fittler scraps Blues walk to ANZ Stadium for Origin II

Fittler scraps Blues walk to ANZ Stadium for Origin II

NSW have scrapped plans to walk through an army of Blues fans from the team hotel to ANZ Stadium on Sunday night.

Blues coach Brad Fittler, who walked with his players from the team's hotel to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for game one, has reluctantly canned plans to repeat the pre-game walk for game two on home soil.

The NSW players enjoyed the 200-metre stroll in Melbourne, which would have only been amplified in front of home fans with the series on the line.

However, the 1km walk from the front of the Pullman Hotel to the change rooms at ANZ Stadium, which would normally take around 12 minutes but would probably be doubled when you consider fan interaction, will be too difficult to fit into the Blues schedule.

"Unfortunately we're not going to do it this time," Fittler said.

"It's a bit too far from the hotel. It's a bit different to how close we were in Melbourne. It's a shame but unfortunately, it might be a bit far."

Asked about the chances of doing it through Caxton Street in Brisbane for game three, where buses are no longer permitted on game night, Fittler replied: "No chance."

Seward spotted at Dogs

Our spies tell us former Parramatta chief executive Scott Seward, who was involved in the club's infamous salary cap scandal which led to the team losing 12 competition points in 2016, was spotted at Belmore Sportsground last Saturday afternoon watching the Bulldogs and Titans. It turns out Seward, who used to work for the Bulldogs, was there to watch the game as a guest of chairwoman Lynne Anderson.

Anderson doggedly getting involved

Speaking of the Andersons, Lynne's husband Chris, who is a director at the Bulldogs, is becoming far more hands-on at the club.

The dual premiership-winning NRL coach has been regularly passing on advice to rookie coach Dean Pay. He's also taken a keen interest in the club's recruitment and retention. So much so he's been out watching teenage rugby league carnivals trying to identify talent to bring back to the club.

Anderson only has the club's best interest at heart and it's hard to deny there is a need for change given the Bulldogs' start to the year. However, let's just say his added involvement has put a few noses out of joint.

Lane set to hit the road along with Hastings

The word out of Manly is Jackson Hastings could be on his way out of the club before June 30, with the out-of-favour halfback attracting interest from English Super League clubs, including Leeds and Huddersfield. The Sea Eagles are also close to losing back-rower Shaun Lane, who could be heading to Parramatta next year. It would be his fourth club in five years.

Manly forward Shaun Lane.
Manly forward Shaun Lane. ©Paul Barkley/NRL Photos

Knights join Sharks in hunt for Hipgrave

Gold Coast Titans firebrand Keegan Hipgrave continues to attract interest from rival clubs. We're hearing Newcastle have joined the Sharks in the battle for his signature.

Rabbitohs wait on Crowe's call for Farah

The Wests Tigers agreed to pursue Robbie Farah at a board meeting on Monday night, however South Sydney wouldn't commit to releasing the veteran hooker on Tuesday. It's understood they were waiting for owner Russell Crowe, who was watching Ed Sheeran in London the night before, to wake up given the time difference.

Tough gig up for grabs at Manly

The Manly Sea Eagles this week sent out a job advertisement for a recruitment and list manager at the club. It will be a tough gig given the state of the club's salary cap. Some of the key responsibilities include "managing the administration and coordination of the club's player contract and negotiations systems, policies and procedures for all players". 

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.