October 16: Rabbitohs reject Sharks & Eels sign Brad Arthur

On this day, Rabbitohs reject Sharks joint venture, Adrian Morley gets a triple crown, and the Eels appoint Brad Arthur as coach over favourite Jason Taylor.


South Sydney president George Piggins rejects an offer from Cronulla boss Barry Pierce to form a 50-50 joint venture with the Sharks, just 24-hours after the NRL axed the Rabbitohs and North Sydney Bears from the competition.


Test captain Brad Fittler relents to overwhelming public pressure and agrees to lead the Kangaroos on a three-Test tour of Great Britain.


NRL boss David Gallop rejects an idea for the Wellington Rugby Union to operate a future NRL franchise.


New Zealand hold Australia to a 16-all draw in the Tri-Nations series opener at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium. Winger Luke Rooney scores twice on debut for the green-and-gold. The result leads to calls for the golden point rule to be extended to international football.

Former Penrith and Kangaroos winger Luke Rooney
Former Penrith and Kangaroos winger Luke Rooney ©NRL Photos


Sydney Roosters prop Adrian Morley becomes the first player to win the NRL (2002), Challenge Cup (1999), and Super League treble when he is part of Bradford’s 15-6 grand final defeat of Leeds in Manchester.


Test captain Darren Lockyer celebrates his final game on Australian soil as Australia cane New Zealand 42-6 at Newcastle’s Ausgrid Stadium.

Former Sydney Roosters forward Adrian Morley
Former Sydney Roosters forward Adrian Morley ©NRL Photos


Parramatta appoint former assistant Brad Arthur as first grade coach for the next three seasons after the club’s board surprisingly ceased negotiations with Jason Taylor, who was considered favourite for the job. It is believed the talks broke down over who should take the head of football position.


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.