The manager of ex-NSW halfback Peter Wallace has revealed his client’s frustration over becoming one of the big-name casualties of the tug-of-war over NRL superstar Ben Barba.
Allan Gainey says Wallace is “prepared to go anywhere” after claiming an about-face from his NRL club the Broncos cost him a Penrith contract believed to be worth $1.5 million.
Despite denials from Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin, Gainey said Wallace sought a release almost two months ago when the Penrith offer lobbed but was knocked back by the Broncos.
However, Gainey said weeks later the Broncos told Wallace he could seek a release as they joined the hunt for Barba but by then the Penrith offer was off the table.
Wallace – once the Blues’ Origin No.7 – has since been demoted from the Brisbane starting side and comes off the bench as the back-up hooker.
“A release was sought seven weeks ago but the coach refused to consider it,” Gainey told AAP.
“But now they are chasing Barba they want to create room (under the salary cap).
“I asked at St George but they got Sam Williams from Canberra.
“Newcastle didn’t have much money to spend at all after signing Michael Dobson from (English) Super League and Penrith have re-signed Isaac John.
“He is prepared to go anywhere in the NRL if something came up but at the moment there’s no options.”
Parramatta looms as the only option left for Wallace while cashed-up halfback Chris Sandow remains on the outer.
But Gainey said at this stage Wallace was prepared to see out his Broncos contract which expires at the end of next season even if it meant languishing in the second-tier Queensland Cup.
“It’s a shame when coaches chop and change but he’s not going to do his bum – he will stay at the Broncos so he can get paid,” Gainey said.
“He could go to Super League but he’s not ready to go for family reasons.
“He believes he has two or three good years of NRL still left in him.”
The Broncos are desperate for a marquee signing but may be sweating on Barba’s availability for some time.
Barba was set to ask the Bulldogs for a release once his former partner took up an option to move to the Gold Coast with their two young children.
But Barba’s manager Gavin Orr said there was still a chance the livewire fullback would stay in Sydney and see out his Bulldogs contract until the end of 2015.
“It will be hard for Ben to stay here if that does happen (family leaves for Queensland) but it’s a week to week thing with his partner during their reconciliation,” Orr told AAP.
“Things might change again but at the moment it is a personal thing between them.”
Orr said at the moment Barba was just concentrating on an early return from an ankle syndesmosis injury suffered in last Friday night’s 40-12 win over the Eels.