Rugby League reporter @JennaBrooks
Inside the NRL: Paul Gallen to return for Cronulla in 2018
Last Updated: 21/06/17 10:04am
Jenna Brooks has the latest from the NRL as Paul Gallen returns for Cronulla next season. Plus, could Daniel Mortimer be about to make a mid-season switch to the Leigh Centurions?
Daniel Mortimer continues to be linked with a move to Super League and reports suggest a mid-season switch to the Leigh Centurions is in the offing.
Mortimer, who played his first NRL game on Saturday since Round 7 last year, helped the Premiers to a 24-22 win over the Wests Tigers.
"I did my MCL (medial collateral ligament) in Round 2 and I missed about eight weeks. It hasn't gone perfectly to plan so it definitely felt good to get the win with the boys tonight," he said.
The halfback played for 32 minutes, made 20 tackles and set up the match-winning try two minutes from full time.
Mortimer spent three seasons with Parramatta, before joining the Roosters in 2012. The 28-year old then moved to the Gold Coast, before signing with the Sharks at the start of the year
Warrington have signed Peta Hiku from Penrith with immediate effect until the end of the season.
The Kiwi International, who has made nine appearances for New Zealand, said he can't wait to arrive in the UK.
"I'm very grateful for this opportunity and excited to come and join a great club. Everyone has been very welcoming. I've heard nothing but good things about the club and the team. I just can't wait to get over there and play some footy," Hiku said.
The centre will make the trip once his visa has been approved.
Paul Gallen will continue his NRL career into 2018, ending speculation of a move to Super League. Cronulla will offer their captain a new deal, keeping him at the club for an 18th season.
The 35-year old, who is set to sign a one-year contract extension, had been linked with a move to Super League, but Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said he'll definitely play on for Cronulla.
"We're well and truly down the track of talking to his management and that'll be resolved in the next couple of weeks."
"We said to Gal that when the time was right and he felt it was right and he was playing well and he wanted to play again, then we'd do it," Flanagan said.
There was some concern for Johnathan Thurston ahead of Wednesday's Origin II, after the star play-maker suffered a knee complaint and head knock during Queensland training on Sunday.
Thurston, who was seen icing his knee afterwards, managed to finish the session along with Josh Papalii, who was another injury concern.
Queensland captain Cameron Smith confirmed Thurston was a definite starter.
"He's fine, he has copped worse than that. It was a bump in the opposed session and we needed that intensity at training," Smith said.
Dally M contenders
Melbourne captain Cameron Smith has a five point lead in the Dally M voting after 15 rounds.
The voting, which now goes behind closed doors, has Smith at the top with Mitchell Pearce and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in a share of second on 15 points. One point back in fourth is St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan and veteran Paul Gallen.
Despite missing three games through injury England international Gareth Widdop is on 13 points tied with Melbourne's Billy Slater, Eels Clint Gutherson, Matt Moylan of the Panthers and Cronulla's Wade Graham.
Sam Burgess is on 11 points in fifth place, with James Graham also making the list with eight points.
The winner is announced in Sydney during Grand Final Week.
Sam Burgess missed South Sydney's 36-20 win over the Gold Coast. The Rabbitohs prop was a late withdrawal due to a glute injury suffered at training last week.
South Sydney have the bye in Round 16, and the England international is hopeful of returning next week in the Rabbitohs game against Penrith.
"It's disappointing, I've got a little strain in my glute," Burgess told Fox Sports.
"I've never had a strain before. It's a strange feeling. I did it at training on Tuesday. I tried to run (Thursday) and had no chance really."
"I should be back after the bye, for sure. I was pushing for (Friday) but I had no power."
Kevin Proctor scored a try on his return to the game since suspension for alleged drug use, but it wasn't enough for the Gold Coast to secure the points.
Proctor was given a four-game ban when he and Kiwi teammate Jesse Bromwich, who received a two-match suspension from Melbourne, were allegedly caught with an illicit substance after New Zealand's defeat to Australia.
The Titans won just one of the four games Proctor was absent from and have dropped from 10th to 14th on the ladder.