NRL Expert @JennaBrooks
NRL talking points: Todd Payten turns down New Zealand Warriors and Ryan Sutton's international attention
Last Updated: 03/08/20 4:21pm
Jenna Brooks has all the latest from the NRL, including the latest on the New Zealand Warriors head coach job and Ricky Leutele, plus Ryan Sutton attracting attention in Spain…
Warriors interim head coach Todd Payten dropped a bombshell on live TV.
Talking on NRL 360, Payten revealed he had interviewed for the head coach position and was in fact offered the top job on a permanent basis but turned it down.
He admitted family was the main reason behind his decision.
"I had a job interview 10 to 14 days ago," Payten said. "It went well, I'd been offered the job last Monday and I told the club I'm going to turn it down
"It just wasn't the right opportunity for myself and my family.
"It's not an easy decision, something I agonised over for a few days but in the end, it was the first time I've put my family first in the decision. It just wasn't the right timing."
Despite still having another 12 months on his Warriors contract as an assistant, Payten admitted he wanted to return to Australia and has informed North Queensland Cowboys, also currently searching for a new head coach, of his interest.
Ryan Sutton has attracted international attention.
The former Wigan Warriors forward made a huge impact coming off the interchange bench in Canberra's 14-12 win over North Queensland.
He ran for 112 metres and made 34 tackles, but what generated international attention was one particular, powerful play that occurred in the second half.
Sutton ran straight for Cowboys hooker Reece Robson, who attempted to make a tackle on the Englishman, but failed miserably when Sutton produced an almighty fend that knocked the hooker for six.
The moment was shared on social media by Diario AS, a Spanish daily sports newspaper, which focuses mainly on football. They described Sutton's fend as 'one that will be remembered for years.'
I have no doubt, both Sutton and Robson would agree.
The NRL has allowed Ricky Leutele to sign with Melbourne Storm and the club are expected to make the announcement imminently.
Melbourne's general manager of football Frank Ponissi said the club are hopeful the deal will be completed overnight.
"He'll be a welcome addition: we had one more spot in our 30, and we've basically been waiting to see what position will fill that in." Ponissi told 2gb.
"With our outside backs we need a bit of strength…It was too good an opportunity to [not] take up."
We were expecting Joseph Suaalii to sign a multi-million dollar deal with South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday, the day he turned 17. But, much to the chagrin of the Rabbitohs, he did not.
Rugby Australia are also vying for the youngster's signature, but according to Steve Nasteski, a prominent art dealer, who has been advising the teenager, Suaalii is not yet ready to make a decision on his future.
"He was spooked by the amount of media attention," Nasteski said. "He needs some time to think about it now. When he's ready he will make it, but right now, he hasn't made that decision.
"It's his decision and his family's decision, 100 per cent. We've just left it up to them and they can take as much time as they want now."
The NRL will reduce the capacity at Sunshine Coast Stadium for Melbourne's next home game by 1,000 after supporters crammed onto a hill to watch Melbourne play Newcastle.
Concerns were raised by both the governing body and the Melbourne Storm about the lack of social distancing.
Under Queensland government rules, venues can be filled to 50 per cent capacity. The stadium holds 12,500 spectators and 5,437 people were in attendance. However, the Queensland government said the number of overall fans would now be reduced to 5,250.
"The stadium absolutely complied with the health regulations and with the government's approval," Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys said.
"We'll reduce it again, so the optics aren't bad, but to be fair they did comply with the protocols that were put in place."
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has praised the NRL in their handling of the matter.
"The majority [on Sunday] were seated, not moving around, but having said that I want to commend the NRL for taking that very swift action and letting my office know that they will be reducing the numbers by 1,000," Palaszczuk said.
Over the next couple of weeks, the NRL will begin planning the finals series, which looks likely to be played in New South Wales and the Australian Central Territory.