North American round-up: New York Freedom axe star man, NRL rookie re-signs with Brooklyn & Kiwi prop on the move

James Messenger

All the latest information from the newly-launched North American Rugby League (NARL) competition…

Tony ‘T-Rex’ Williams sacked by New York Freedom

Tony Williams has seen his contract terminated by New York Freedom after showing his support for disgraced former team-mate Jarryd Hayne. 

Hayne, 33, will spent at least the next three years and eight months in jail after being found guilty of two counts of rape. 

Williams, who lined up alongside Hayne for NRL side Parramatta Eels back in 2018, took to Instagram to state that the justice system had “sent an innocent [brother] to jail.”

Hours later, Freedom cut ties with Williams and released a statement which read: “As a club we are dedicated to growing the great sport of rugby league and are committed to it always being an inclusive, safe and family-oriented environment.”

Samoan international signs for the Rhinos

Atlanta Rhinos have bolstered their ranks ahead of the inaugural NARL season with the capture of Samoa international Pita Godinet.

The 33-year-old has appeared in two World Cups and boasts a number of clubs on his decorated CV, including Super League side Wakefield and NRL clubs New Zealand Warriors, Manly Sea Eagles and Wests Tigers.

Capped 15 times by his national team, Godinet has most recently been a part of the French Elite 1 Championship with Villeneuve. 

Lezignan prop heads Stateside

Kiwi prop John Talisa’s move to Atlanta has also been confirmed ahead of the new NARL season. 

Talisa, 23, joined Lezignan on loan from Villefranche after the Elite 2 season was curtailed due to the pandemic.

Brooklyn retain key trio

Brooklyn Kings have announced that they have retained three of their 2019 Championship-winning side.

Kevin Reed Jr., Connor Donehue and Tim Stubbs have all committed to the club for 2021.

Reed Jr. notably appeared on Australian reality TV show The NRL Rookie in 2016 and has also been included in the USA Nines squad.

The NARL is a 14-team competition that will play its first round of games on the weekend of June 19 in Brooklyn and June 20 in Las Vegas.

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