Buzz: Cameron Munster transfer news, Storm star linked to Dragons

A fresh Sydney club with money to splash has entered the race for Cameron Munster, as the battle for the superstar No.6 heats up.

If Dragons star Jayden Sullivan was a boxer, he’d be banned from competing for 28 days.

Two weeks ago Sullivan was knocked unconscious in a tackle that went wrong on North Sydney Bears forward Daniel Suluka-Fifita in NSW Cup.

The game was held up for five minutes as he was treated by medicos, put in a neck brace and stretchered off.

His father ran onto the field to check on his condition as he lay motionless.

Seven days later the Dragons named Sullivan to play NRL against the Wests Tigers at Wollongong.

The Dragons followed all medical protocols and did nothing wrong.

Watch every game of Magic Round this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

Jayden Sullivan was knocked unconscious against North Sydney Bears
Jayden Sullivan was knocked unconscious against North Sydney Bears

Sullivan was given a clearance on the Friday by an independent brain specialist, Chris Levi.

The NRL has done a tremendous job with its vigilant stance on concussion in recent years.

However other sports have tougher rules.

Sullivan would not have been allowed to play AFL or rugby union.

The AFL has a mandatory 12-day stand down for players who have suffered concussion.

Rugby union is the same – 12 days.

The NRL has obviously consulted the best medical experts in forming their policies.

Still it’s a bad look when a player is allowed back in the toughest body contact sport of them all just a week after a shocking knockout.

* * * * *

SAINT

Few coaches have had to deal with as much negative commentary and pressure as Kevvie Walters at the Broncos. He has calmly handled it with tremendous class and steered the Broncos into a position where they are genuine contenders to make the finals.

SINNER

Whoever made the final decision at the South Sydney Rabbitohs to allow club legend Adam Reynolds to walk out at the end of last season. Thursday night proved it was a gigantic blunder.

SHOOSH

The rumour will not go away that another Sydney club has joined the race to sign Melbourne Storm superstar Cameron Munster – the St George-Illawarra Dragons. His relationship with halfback and skipper Ben Hunt from the Queensland State of Origin side will no doubt work in the Dragons’ favour.

Will Origin teammates Cameron Munster and Ben Hunt unite at the Dragons? Picture: Adam Head
Will Origin teammates Cameron Munster and Ben Hunt unite at the Dragons? Picture: Adam Head

SHOOSH

Drama at the Manly Sea Eagles over the club’s handling of popular five-eighth Kieran Foran’s contract negotiations in recent weeks. A number of players are not happy about him leaving at the end of the season to join the Titans and that the club didn’t try harder to keep him.

SHOOSH

The Roosters put one condition on highly rated halfback Ronald Volkman joining the New Zealand Warriors … they had to take hooker Freddy Lussick as well to ease some salary cap pressure.

SPOTTED

Parramatta Eels stars Mitchell Moses and Reagan Campbell-Gillard Gillard were joined by boxing prodigy Harry Garside and Big Sports Breakfast host Jaimee Rogers trackside at Wentworth Park on Saturday night for the $1million Chase. Under the guidance of Tony Mestrov, the former Manly and Souths front-rower, the profile of greyhound racing in NSW is growing at a rapid rate.

SPOTTED

World boxing champion George Kambosos has transformed an old storage warehouse in Mortdale into his own state of the art gym as he prepares to fight American Devin Haney in Melbourne in front of 50,000 fans on June 5.

(BEFORE) The old storage warehouse George Kambosos has transformed into a gym. Picture Supplied
(BEFORE) The old storage warehouse George Kambosos has transformed into a gym. Picture Supplied
(AFTER) The old storage warehouse George Kambosos has transformed into a gym. Picture Supplied
(AFTER) The old storage warehouse George Kambosos has transformed into a gym. Picture Supplied

SPOTTED

Old Canberra Raiders legends always stick solid, especially when the going gets tough. Mal Meninga, Glenn Lazarus and Ricky Stuart caught up for breakfast and coffee in the national capital on Wednesday morning.

SPOTTED

Fox Sports star Tony Squires will host the Triple M rugby league coverage on Sunday afternoon in the absence of Anthony Maroon, who won’t return after walking out last week. He will remain at the network as a caller.

SPOTTED

Mark Bouris in Cronulla to watch Paul Gallen have his final spar before his Australian title fight in Newcastle on Wednesday night.

* * * * *

Yvonne Sampson with her son Henry. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Yvonne Sampson with her son Henry. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

Fox Sports star Yvonne Sampson is celebrating her first Mother’s Day with five-week-old son Henry over a quiet family lunch.

Sampson is married to Channel 9 political reporter Chris O’Keefe, who has been working around the clock on the network’s news and federal election coverage while juggling a new dad’s support role.

“It’s been hectic but we’re loving it,” Vonny said.

“It’s the most special time in our lives. We’re so grateful for adding little Henry to our family.

“There’s the little moments, the cuddles, the snuggles. He’s so gorgeous.”

Tragically, Henry is already a member of the St George-Illawarra Dragons, his dad’s team.

This is despite Vonny growing up in Queensland and being a Brisbane Broncos fan all her life.

Chris O'Keefe with baby Henry
Chris O'Keefe with baby Henry

While she was still in the maternity unit, O’Keefe bought a membership and club merchandise.

“He smuggled a Dragons onesie into the hospital and took a photo on the day he was born,” Vonny said.

The Fox Sports presenter is adjusting well to motherhood.

“Being a first-time mum, I’m learning as I go,” she said, “I’m lucky I’ve got people I can reach out to. I text the girls at Fox Sports for advice from all their experience and they’ve been fantastic.”

Vonny hopes to ease back into work for a weekend hosting shift around State of Origin time.

“I’ve worked my whole life and I love my job,” she said.

“It’s actually been nice to sit back and watch a bit of footy as a fan.

“I’ll get back into it when the time’s right. Maybe around Origin time.

“Maybe one day a week for the rest of the season and I’ll leave Chris in charge.

“He’s been an incredible father since the moment Henry arrived.”

* * * * *

The State Government wants to bulldoze Penrith Paceway to use the site to build the Panthers’ new $400 million stadium.

The cost would be north of $50 million to purchase the land and assist the trotting club to find and establish a new harness racing venue in the area.

This would allow the Panthers to remain at Blue Bet Stadium while the new venue is under construction over two years.

The problem for the state government and the man behind the project, Minister Stuart Ayres, is justifying a $450 million spend on a suburban ground at the height of a pay dispute with teachers and nurses.

The Penrith stadium will be almost identical in size and the facilities to CommBank Stadium at Parramatta.

Referee Grant Atkins deserves to referee at Origin level. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Referee Grant Atkins deserves to referee at Origin level. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

* * * * *

The NRL is facing a huge call around the refereeing appointment for the State of Origin series. Gerard Sutton, Ben Cummins and Ashley Klein have shared Origins and grand finals for too long. Grant Atkins is now clearly the best referee in the game, he has a feel for the game and lets the football flow.

* * * * *

More shocking news from NSWRL headquarters …

CEO Dave Trodden has now abandoned plans to take a NSW Cup match between the Rabbitohs and the Raiders to Dubbo on May 22.

The match was supposed to be a curtain raiser and part of a huge double header with the South Sydney and Canberra NRL teams in Round 11 at Apex Oval.

Both clubs received an email last week from the NSWRL last week with news that the trip had been cancelled owing to funding restraints.

This is the same organisation that is spending tens of thousands of dollars in court in a legal dispute with the NRL and the 16 clubs.

* * * * *

The State Government’s decision to spend $800 million on Brookvale Oval, Shark Park, Leichhardt Oval and Penrith is a victory for fans who love their suburban-ground tribalism.

We have supported this investment from day one.

Over the weekend we had sell outs at both Penrith and Brookie.

However, to justify such a huge outlay, something needs to be done about the old Olympic Stadium at Homebush as well.

Having a major event venue for State of Origin, NRL grand finals and concerts like Ed Sheeran under a roof is what will give the government an economic return for their outlay.

Major events bring tourism dollars into the state, filling hotel rooms, restaurants, taxis etc where suburban grounds won’t.

You don’t fly in from interstate for a game of footy at Leichhardt, Manly, Penrith or Cronulla.

Accor Stadium needs a roof and an upgrade.

You can’t ask fans to pay $300 for a State of Origin or grand final ticket and then get drenched.

Terrell May, North Sydney Bears player. Source: Supplied
Terrell May, North Sydney Bears player. Source: Supplied

* * * * *

The brother of Penrith Panthers winger Taylan May and former utility Tyrone May is making a huge impression at the Sydney Roosters.

The 23-year-old Terrell May is a front-rower at the Roosters’ feeder club, the North Sydney Bears, in NSW Cup and is tipped to play NRL by the end of the month.

May is a development contract player who has to wait until after round 11 to get a start in the NRL side. Under Jason Taylor’s coaching, May has emerged as an outstanding middle forward.

The Roosters have lacked middle-field dominance this year with Lindsay Collins struggling after returning from knee surgery and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in a rare form lapse.

May is seen as a long-term replacement for Siosiua Taukeiaho who is leaving at the end of the season.

* * * * *

Canberra’s 1994 grand final hero Paul Osborne has travelled 15,000 kilometres to attend the Raiders’ 40-year reunion in the national capital on Saturday night.

The old front-rower is living in Sweden these days but flew into Australia on Thursday.

He is here for only five days.

“It’s a huge effort,” said Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, “Ossie is a great bloke and was an integral part of the grand final win. Everyone loved that he came out all this way.”

* * * * *

Paul Gallen has much more at stake than an Australasian heavyweight title in Newcastle on Wednesday night when he steps into the ring against Kris Terzievski.

His promoter Matt Rose is now talking up a multimillion-dollar farewell super fight – not against Sonny Bill Williams, but American sensation Jake Paul.

“I need Gal to win on Wednesday night to be able to sell the fight,” Rose said.

“I’ve already reached out to Jake’s manager Nakisa Bidarian.”

The pair would fight at cruiserweight if it was to come off.

“Gal’s fighting for the (Australasian) title but also this super fight in Australia,” Rose said.

“We could even hold it at the new Sydney Football Stadium.

“That’s how big it would be. It’s 10 times bigger than fighting Sonny Bill, which is never going to happen.”

The Gallen v Terzievski fight will be shown live on Main Event on a card that includes Nikita Tszyu and Olympic bronze medallist Harry Garside.

Originally published as Buzz: Cameron Munster transfer news, Storm star linked to Dragons