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The Roar


NRL News: Two players stood down under no-fault policy, Seibold walks out of contract talks, Panthers pounce on Tiger

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23rd May, 2024
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The NRL have confirmed that two players are to be subject to the league’s no-fault stand down policy with immediate effect.

The first is Taylan May, the Panthers centre who was arrested last week on three domestic violence charges. He already missed Penrith’s defeat at Magic Round to the Warriors and will now remain sidelined pending legal proceedings.

Th second is Brandon Wakeham, who was arrested on the Northern Beaches in connection with alleged drug offences.

He is currently contracted to Blacktown Workers in the NSW Cup though has been involved in extended squads for their feeder team, Manly, and played most recently at NRL level for the Wests Tigers.

Manly boss Anthony Seibold has walked out of talks about a contract extension with the Sea Eagles, according to reports in the Daily Telegraph.

The coach is locked in until the end of 2025 and was due to open negotiations on a further deal after Round 10, but left the meeting early and negotiations have been put on hold due to the club’s three game losing streak.

“I don’t think it’s an issue because Anthony is under contract for another 12 months,” Mestrov told the Telegraph.

“We will continue to have discussions with his agent at the appropriate time.”


Seibold himself brushed off suggestions of a rift.

“The club’s put talks on hold and I’ve got no drama with that,” he said.

“I’ve got another year and a half to go and I want to stay beyond that. I’m not too concerned. If I’m doing a good job it won’t be a problem.

“We’ve got a game of football against Storm and that’s all I’m concerned about right now.”

Penrith have pulled off a backrow coup with the signing of Isaiah Papali’i from the Wests Tigers for 2025.

The Kiwi international backrower had been told that he was free to talk to other clubs the by Tigers hierarchy earlier this week and the Panthers, bolstered by a huge slice of salary cap freed up by the departure of James Fisher-Harris, swooped quickly.

“We’re thrilled to have secured Isaiah’s services for the next three seasons,” said Matt Cameron, Panthers CEO.


“Not only does Isaiah bring a wealth of experience and leadership capabilities to our club, but he’s also a world-class forward who has proven himself at the highest level.”

Papalii’s departure comes as the Tigers look to the Super League as they overhaul their roster.

Papali’i was granted permission to negotiate elsewhere, while young half Jayden Sullivan and centre Brent Naden are other Tigers in the firing line, with CEO Shane Richardson flying to England to gauge interest from Super League clubs about taking over their deals.

Richardson is also looking at players in the UK that he might sign up as coach Benji Marshall tries to revamp the roster.

This season started promisingly with two wins in the opening three rounds but Wests have lost seven straight to again be in wooden spoon territory.

BATHURST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20: Isaiah Papali’i of the Wests Tigers is tackled during the round seven NRL match between Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers at Carrington Park on April 20, 2024, in Bathurst, Australia.(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)[/caption]

Parramatta go back to the future

The Eels are without a coach for next season after sacking Brad Arthur but they have already replaced their outgoing major sponsor with a throwback to their glory days.

James Hardie is coming back onto the front of Parramatta’s jersey in 2025 in a return to their golden era of the 1980s when the building company was their major sponsor.

Eels CEO Jim Sarantinos told NewsCorp that James Hardie was also looking for a fresh start after the asbestos scandal related to the building products they had been using more than four decades ago.

After the Eels tried to get Wayne Bennett to replace Arthur, they are now being inundated with prospective coaches.


Former St George Illawarra mentor Paul McGregor, who was Arthur’s assistant when they made the 2022 Grand Final, has declared his interest while NSW State of Origin coach Michael Maguire and assistants such as Jason Ryles (Melbourne) and Josh Hannay (Cronulla) have been linked to the job. 

Sarantinos said the incoming coach would not have total control of the club’s roster.

The Eels’ recruitment and retention had been a major talking point during Arthur’s tenure, with the club’s failure to retain several key players who helped them to the 2022 grand final seen as a trigger for Parramatta’s slide down the NRL ladder.  

Trent Barrett will take charge of the Eels until the end of the season but it is unclear if he would want to return to a head coaching role after failed stints at Canterbury and Manly.

The Eels are also adamant that they will take their time after privately pursuing Bennett in the three weeks prior to Arthur’s axing, only to be left high and dry. 


The Eels (3-7) sit 14th and, in a cruel twist after news of Bennett’s decision, face South Sydney on Saturday. 

Captain Clint Gutherson and halfback Mitchell Moses remain sidelined with injury and were not named by Barrett.

with AAP