Robbie Farah’s future is again at the crossroads after South Sydney began shopping the veteran hooker with a year still remaining on his contract.
Just a year after his tumultuous exit from Wests Tigers, Farah now finds himself on the outer at Redfern. The 33-year-old signed a two-year deal with Souths after his much-publicised fallout with then-Tigers coach Jason Taylor, but hasn’t been able to recapture his best form at the Rabbitohs.
Farah is one of the highest-paid players in the NRL, although his transfer hasn’t yet hit Souths in the hip pocket. In order to make his arrival possible, the Tigers paid $750,000 of his $950,000 contract for this season. However, there won’t be any subsidy next season and Souths are questioning his value going forward. While there are likely to be denials at Rabbitohs headquarters, several clubs have told Fairfax Media they have been approached about the prospect of taking Farah for next season.
Rabbitohs co-owner Russell Crowe personally involved himself in the pitch to Farah to ensure he made the transition. However, his presence hasn’t been able to help lift South Sydney back into the finals, with the club sitting 11th ahead of Saturday’s clash with minor premiers Melbourne. After having a mortgage on the NSW No.9 jersey for the best part of a decade, he was overlooked this year, with Laurie Daley settling on Nathan Peats after injury cruelled Peter Wallace’s Origin comeback hopes.
Farah has been sharing the hooking duties with Damien Cook for Souths, with coach Michael Maguire alternating between the two in his starting side. Maguire has preferred Cook as the run-on rake in the past four matches, with the club winning the past three.
It remains to be seen whether Farah will be prepared to move on. He has shown he is prepared to dig his heels in when he wasn’t wanted at the Tigers, even when he was threatened with – and ultimately dropped to – reserve grade. Souths are hoping the current situation won’t become as ugly and protracted as that at the joint-venture outfit as they attempt to refresh a roster that has missed the finals for two straight years.
English clubs expressed interest in Farah during his final months at the Tigers and the Super League remains a viable option. However, NRL clubs will likely baulk at his asking price, even if the Rabbitohs pay some of his freight.
Despite Farah’s acrimonious departure from Wests Tigers, he could yet return to the club as he has an arrangement to take up an ambassadorial role once his playing career ends.
Farah was one of the players at the unveiling of Lebanon’s strip for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup at a press call at Zahli restaurant on Tuesday. but declined to take questions on anything other than Lebanon’s preparations for the tournament.
NRL players have contemplated boycotting the World Cup if their pay dispute isn’t resolved, but Farah is hopeful a resolution will be reached.
“I want to be involved in a World Cup, so hopefully it doesn’t get to a boycott, I’m looking forward to representing Lebanon,” Farah said. “I don’t think it will get to that, hopefully it doesn’t. I know both parties are working to a resolution and from all reports they are pretty close.
“If it does come to that, we’ll assess our options but hopefully it doesn’t.
“We are united, the RLPA is doing the best for us as a playing group and we’re doing our best to support them. We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.Read More →