North Queensland chief executive Peter Parr has expressed his anger regarding Rugby Union’s plans to sign star Cowboys player Luke O’Donnell.
Earlier in the week it was revealed that the Queensland Reds would be making a move on O’Donnell, the latest target from Rugby Union. The news has frustrated all involved in Rugby League.
"I think everyone is a bit tired of this constant sniping at our players from rugby union," Parr said.
"For us it has been three years in a row now that we have had a player supposedly in their sights.
"First it was Matt Bowen, then Johnathan Thurston and now Luke O'Donnell. A lot of other clubs have had to put up with it as well, and it just makes you wonder if rugby union actually has any of its own players they are looking to develop.
"We keep hearing about how cashed up they are, well you'd think they'd get better value from trying to put some programs in place to develop talent rather than trying to constantly raid our ranks."
Most players seem to be linked with Rugby when they are off-contract. At times it seems that the interest in genuine, whilst at other times it almost seems to be a ploy by player managers to drive up the value of the player in question.
O'Donnell's manager Wayne Beavis had a meeting with Reds coach Eddie Jones on Thursday and Jones was encouraged with the progress made.
"We are very serious about Luke in terms of wanting to continue negotiations," Jones said.
"If he is interested in coming to the Reds that would be fantastic."
It would seem unlikely that O’Donnell would move to play Rugby, despite the attractive salary that would be on offer. His style of play isn’t clearly suited to the sport and it would be a gamble for him to try to find a suitable position in the 15-a-side game. Peter Parr also confirmed that the chance of O’Donnell defecting is minimal.
"I have spoken to Wayne Beavis this morning and he has admitted it is a remote chance at best, he said. "I just hope a guy like Luke O'Donnell, if he is having those thoughts, has a look at that game between the Brumbies and the Reds last week (the lowest scoring in Super rugby history). Because surely that would extinguish any enthusiasm you had for playing that game.
"In the end I don't think there has been one player who has gone across to rugby where money hasn't been the primary motivation and now most of those guys are on the way back."