Aussies bid for league star

The Australian Rugby Union has formally offered a playing contract to international rugby league centre Mark Gasnier.

The Australian and NSW Union’s had jointly bid for Gasnier, but refused to discuss financial details.

“We didn’t go out looking for Mark Gasnier, he came to us. We met with him on a number of occasions and we have now made him a formal offer,” said ARU chief executive Gary Flowers. “He is a world-class rugby league player, one of the best in the world in his position, and Wallaby coach John Connolly and our High Performance Unit feel he has the potential to make a big impact in the game.”

Flowers denied media reports Gasnier would be paid up to A$750 000 a year. He said the ARU insisted if Gasnier switched codes, he did so for the footballing challenge rather than the money. He said the unions had offered Gasnier no guarantees of international selection.

“We have made him an offer that is commensurate with his abilities and standing as a professional footballer, but one that is affordable, performance-based and in line with contracts offered to players of a similar standard,” Flowers said. “If he decides he wants a new challenge in an international game with
the potential to play his way into a Rugby World Cup, that’s great.”