Memo to Moses: NRL contracts must be honoured

David Lord Columnist

By , David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Ivan Cleary made the right decision to select Parramatta-bound Mitchell Moses in the Wests Tigers side to meet the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

    It has nothing to do with the serious money on offer, or loyalty to the club that gave him the NRL start.

    It’s the contract.

    What’s the point of signing a contract that can be broken at the first hurdle?

    Moses is contracted to the Tigers until the end of this season, and that’s where he must play, and not seek an early release to become an Eel.

    Ben Hunt will see out his contract this season with the Broncos, before he becomes a Dragon in 2018. Jack Bird likewise with the Sharks before he becomes a Bronco.

    There’s been no argument, nor discussion, by either player to leave early.

    But there’s more to the Tigers-Dogs game on Sunday than just Mitchell Moses. And when it comes to contracts, there are some more fascinating decisions to be made.

    Will Cooper Cronk retire from the Storm to become a media guru out of Sydney, or will he delay those possibilities – which loom large – to play with either the Dogs or Tigers for a seven-figure-sum annual contract?

    Rival skippers Aaron Woods and James Graham go head-to-head on Sunday in the Tigers-Dogs game, where they could well be playing for a direct switch.

    James Tedesco will also be on duty in that game – will he remain a Tiger, or become a Rooster next season?

    Unwanted Dog Josh Reynolds is another playing for his future, which is the most absurd decision of the lot. Nobody at Belmore could seriously think of axing this dyed-in-the-wool Bulldog. If there is someone, he or she has rocks in their head.

    ‘The Grub’ should be at Canterbuty for life, it’s as simple as that.

    Josh Reynolds is placed on report

    And that leaves Jarryd Hayne and Kieran Foran’s future yet to be decided – both are off contract at season’s end.

    Hayne is a superstar, but not at the Titans. Think of him in the Parramatta backline with Corey Norman, Mitchell Moses, Semi Radradra, and Michael Jennings.

    Now that would be something very special.

    The loose cannon is Foran, who on his day is as good as anyone in the NRL. But there are far too many days between the dizzy heights.

    His time at Manly was later scrutinised and then he left Parramatta under a cloud, with his career revived by the Warriors this season when no other club was interested.

    Even before he had pulled on a Warriors jersey, he was linked with the Broncos and Bulldogs for next season. And when Cronk dropped the hand grenade he was leaving the Storm, Foran was linked there as a replacement.

    What Foran has to do for the rest of the season is show loyalty to the Warriors for saving his career, and only then decide where he’ll play in 2018, with the Auckland-based club first cab off the rank.

    In the meantime, this NRL season is looming as one of the best, with so many teams on a level playing field. And that’s the way it should be.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles