25 Feb 2009

NZ-born league defector axed over off-season rugby stint

8:54 am on 25 February 2009

The Cronulla Sharks New Zealand-born player Fraser Anderson has effectively been axed by the club over plans to play rugby in Japan.

As debate continues to rage over whether the Kiwi league star Benji Marshall should be allowed to take up an off-season rugby contract in Japan, Cronulla officials have backed the NRL's hardline stance by announcing that Anderson had been released from the remaining year of his contract.

Anderson is understood to be close to finalising a two-year deal worth more than $1 million which would see him become eligible to represent Japan at the next Rugby World Cup in his native New Zealand in 2011.

Meanwhile negotiations between the Tigers and Benji Marshall appear to be at a standstill after the NRL board backed its chief executive David Gallop by declaring that no player would be given permission to play rugby while under contract to one of its 16 clubs.