Posted: 9 July, 2012 by The Grill Team

NRL Rumours Of The Week: Lewis To Leave Penrith, Folau To Bulldogs & Thurston To Panthers In 2013?

The Grill Team have been alerted to several potential moves inside the NRL, including Johnathan Thurston's potential transfer to the Penrith Panthers, Israel Folau's return to the NRL in 2013 and Luke Lewis' potential defection from the Panthers. Get the

Tags: Thurston, Folau, Lewis

The Grill Team have been alerted to several potential moves inside the NRL, including  Johnathan Thurston's potential transfer to the Penrith Panthers, Israel Folau's return to the NRL in 2013 and Luke Lewis' possible defection from the Panthers (which has now been confirmed).

Luke Lewis To Leave Panthers?

Today, Luke Lewis is expected to ask the Panthers for release. "It's huge, Matty," Penrith Panthers' #1 ticket holder Mark "MG" Geyer said on Triple M this morning.

"This has been going on since Origin, when he was dropped as the captain by Ivan Cleary," Geyer explained.

"We all knew that he didn't like being dropped from the captaincy. I was with him, I said 'it's a bad way, but at least he backed up and played good footy," Geyer continued.

"What will be the feeling in the community [if Lewis leaves]?" Matty Johns asked Mark Geyer.

"Outrage. When I think of Penrith, I think of Luke Lewis," Geyer responded.

"The amazing thing about the story in the paper is that it says that it's not only Lewis that's unhappy. Lewis is saying he wants out because the club doesn't want him, that the club's trying to push him out," Matty Johns said.

"If that is true and they want Luke Lewis out, boy oh boy they must have a big gun coming, they're clearing the decks," Johns ruminated.

UPDATE: Luke Lewis has indeed confirmed he will be departing the Penrith Panthers at a press conference this afternoon. Get all the details here.

Thurston To Sign With Panthers?

"I was sent this as an email on Facebook... it says Johnathan Thurston is on the verge of signing a two year deal with the Panthers for 2013-14," Triple M's Mark "MG" Geyer said.

"I don't know how much credibility we can give this, but [see below]. If they are clearing the decks for somebody big, you can't get any bigger than Johnathan Thurston," Geyer added.

 

Folau To Return To NRL For Bulldogs?

According to Triple M's Matty Johns' inside sources, "Israel Folau will be out of his GWS contract by September. They're negotiating a release right now, and next year he will be playing in the NRL in Sydney," Johns said.

"Given the urgency of the Luke Lewis situation, maybe it's the Panthers, but another guy said to me it will be the Bulldogs," Johns continued.

"The Bulldogs are the richest club in the league. they have huge amounts of money. If there is one club that is able to buy Israel Folau (financially alone) it is the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs. It would be a big attraction for Israel."

"And let's not forget that they'll get him for good money because he'll come back off AFL after two years, he won't be on the $600,000 to $800,000 [in the AFL], you can probably get him for $500,000 [in the NRL]," Geyer added.

"[But] would he be happy in any way, shape or form? No," Johns said.

According to a GWS insider who phoned Triple M this morning, "he wasn't there to play AFL. He was there to advertise the game. They didn't care if he played a game or not, he was the face of AFL in the West."

What do you think?

Tags: Thurston, Folau, Lewis

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