Cameron George, the CEO of New Zealand Warriors, believes that the club hasn’t done anything wrong in pursuing the young Parramatta star Dylan Brown. He said that the club hadn’t broken any anti-tampering rules of the NRL.
Reports of the club having rubbed the NRL laws the wrong way surfaced yesterday from Sydney which claimed that Warriors could face scrutiny over their attempt to bring the Auckland-born across the Tasman into their team. Brown is being considered as the long-term replacement for former halfback Shaun Johnson.
Parramatta doesn’t appear too pleased with the offer, and they have complained to the NRL about the Warriors. The team’s talent scout Peter O’Sullivan is in the middle of controversy now as he played a crucial role in inking a $3 million-dollar year to bring Brown to the Warriors for six years. Brown’s manager Gavin Orr will also make the transition and stay with the Warriors till the end of 2025 season.
George is unphased by the allegations against the team and told the media that he spoke to the NRL integrity unit yesterday. He said that there was no advise about an investigation, but the media speculation made him approach the NRL. The integrity unit had asked him to present any material on record they had about Brown’s management about the potential switch.
He reiterated that the club hadn’t done anything wrong as they had done everything right within the laws and regulations of the game. He added that Sullivan withdrew the offer as soon as the mistake was discovered. According to NRL guidelines, another team can only pursue a player after November 1, one year before their contract is set to expire. The Warriors were reportedly under the impression that Brown’s deal is ending in 2019, instead of 2020.
The offer document obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald suggests that the Warriors’ offer would have been the richest deal offered to a player who is yet to debut in the NRL. Brown’s base salary would be NZ$2.8 million with an extra NZ$60,000 to cover costs for relocation. The contract also stated that the teenage player would become a part of the fulltime squad of the Warriors this season.
Brown is on a two-year development deal with the Eels and earns about NZ$60,000 per season. Parramatta doesn’t want to let him go at the end of the 2020 season and will likely extend his contract.
The NRL is yet to decide if the club broke the rules. If it finds the Warriors guilty, the club and O’Sullivan may have to face sanctions. The Warriors have email records showing Orr admitting his mistake about the correct time of Brown’s deal ending and O’Sullivan promptly withdrawing his offer. George is also furious that the contract details were leaked to the media.
O’Sullivan’s role in the whole debacle is being discussed in the media, especially because of his past. He unearthed talents like Israel Folau, Greg Inglis and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck but suffered deregistration after his association with gambling personality Eddie Hayson was revealed. George had full faith in O’Sullivan and praised his role at the Warriors.