NRL

Sharks block Josh Morris' request

Josh Morris, 33, was reported to have requested a move to the Roosters to play alongside his brother Brett.

Sharks coach John Morris confirmed the veteran was considering his options, but ruled out a move for the New South Wales representative.

"There was an enquiry there around Josh's side and I think our fans and members deserve the full truth," he told the NRL website.

Sonny Bill Williams allowed to cover Betfred logo on jersey

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone says an agreement has been reached with Betfred - one of the UK's biggest betting companies. Gambling is considered 'haram' or forbidden in Islam, along with other practices like drinking alcohol. 

Williams converted from Christianity to Islam in 2009 and was the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks. 

"I think the matter has been resolved in satisfactory fashion," said Elstone. "I have say a big 'thank you' to Betfred for the way they've managed this.

Mitchell could make Tigers move

The Tigers withdrew an offer for the Australia star last month after the Roosters took a contract offer for the 22-year-old off the table.

Mitchell.did not rule out remaining in Sydney with the premiers but has reportedly been told by the Roosters he will be unable to stay on due to salary-cap restrictions.

Wests chairman Lee Hagipantelis revealed Roosters counterpart Nick Politis has been in touch to notify him of Mitchell's availability.

Trent Merrin returns to Dragons

Merrin, 30, spent this year with the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League, but is back with the club he started his career at in 2009.

The former Australia and New South Wales representative played 133 NRL games for the Dragons, including the 2010 Grand Final win, before joining the Penrith Panthers in 2016.

Merrin replaces Luciano Leilua, who was released from the final year of his contract, in the Dragons squad.

Cronk joins Roosters coach staff to help halves

The back-to-back premiers announced Cronk has signed on to be a part-time specialist halves coach and will work with every playmaker coming through Roosters system next year.

Cronk, 35, retired following the NRL grand final after a third consecutive premiership with the Roosters and Storm. 

The Tricolours have signed former Cronulla playmaker Kyle Flanagan as a replacement for the two-time Dally M medallist. 

He's likely to partner premiership-winner Luke Keary in the halves with Lachlan Lam another option for Roosters coach Trent Robinson.

Leilua injured by firework

Leilua returned to the changing room for treatment at AAMI Park after suffering a freak injury moments before kick-off on Saturday.

The centre was running through an arch which was firing out steam and sparklers when the damage was done.

Leilua was unable to start the match and his late replacement, Bailey Simonsson, scored the opening try after only three minutes.

Former Newcastle Knights man Leilua recovered to join the action midway through the first half, replacing Nick Cotric, with Canberra leading 6-2 at the break.

Mitchell's heroics sink Warriors' slim NRL hopes

Needing to win to stay in finals contention, the Warriors led 6-0 early on Sunday afternoon but otherwise failed to land a punch as they conceded eight unanswered tries.

They also lost Gerard Beale to a serious knee injury early, while Jazz Tevaga might be suspended for a late shoulder charge on Cronk.

Tevaga was sin-binned for the hit and, while Cronk initially remained grounded, he played on without any real concerns.

Sharks bite back to beat Cowboys

The visiting Cowboys led 8-4 at the interval but were undone by two tries in the space of four minutes, as Shaun Johnson played a key role with hands and boot.

The Sharks had won the previous two meetings with the Cowboys and six of the past eight, but they fell behind three minutes in when Scott Drinkwater sprinted clear to score.

Ronaldo Mulitalo levelled after 36 minutes from Johnson's pass, but Matthew Scott restored the Cowboys' advantage just three minutes later, powering through a defensive blockade to spin and dot down just before the interval.

Jazz Tevaga sticking with Warriors for another two years

The 23-year-old hooker turned down down reported interest from other national rugby club to remain in Auckland until the end of the 2021 season.

Named the NRL's best interchange player last year, Tevaga has thrived in a starting role and is averaging 125 metres in his four starts while his 61 tackles in last week's draw with Brisbane was 18 more than anyone else.

Possibly the smallest middle forward in the NRL, coach Stephen Kearney lauded Tevaga for his courage.

"He isn't the biggest forward going around by a long way but that doesn't bother him," Kearney said.

NRL appoints first female referee for Broncos v Bulldogs clash

Belinda Sharpe will on Tuesday be confirmed as the first woman to take control of an NRL match, assigned as the assistant referee for Thursday night's Broncos and Bulldogs clash at Suncorp Stadium.

The Queensland-raised Sharpe and Kasey Badger were earlier this year elevated to the NRL's full-time referees squad, paving the way for the former to take the whistle in round 18.

She has been a constant as an NRL touch judge in recent times, as has Badger, but it won't be until this week that one of the pair has been given the task of refereeing an NRL fixture.