South Sydney Rabbitohs have criticized Rugby Australia for trying to poach the NRL’s top talent, including their skipper Cameron Murray, and urged them to focus on their $25 million financial deficit.
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has expressed his interest in Murray, stating that the forward could have a similar impact on players like Sonny Bill Williams when he switched codes.
However, Murray is focused on winning at least one NRL premiership with Souths before considering any move, and he is contracted with the club until the end of 2025.
Souths CEO Blake Solly praised Murray’s progress and leadership, and said that rugby needs to solve its many problems, including financial challenges and the loss of talented kids to rugby league every year, before trying to sign NRL players.
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan responded to Solly’s comments by saying that it’s a free market and that RA is back in the black.
Jones missed out on Joseph Suaali’i, but Murray remains on top of his wish-list.
Jones highlighted Murray’s qualities as a player and a leader and compared him to Sonny Bill Williams, but Murray hasn’t heard from Jones or anyone else about a possible move to rugby.
Murray loves playing for Souths and is not someone who will leave the club after winning a few comps.
He enjoyed school rugby and still watches big international matches, but he is focused on his NRL career for now.
Jones also said that it’s difficult for league players with no rugby background to transition into the forwards, but there have been successful cases with outside backs.