Gasnier keeps ARU guessing

A week after offering Mark Gasnier a lucrative contract, the Australian Rugby Union is yet to hear from the Kangaroos centre.

But the governing body’s hope of having Gasnier involved in the 2007 World Cup campaign has not diminished.

ARU chief executive Gary Flowers said last night that although he did not want the negotiations to “drag out”, the union always assumed it would not hear from Gasnier and his management until after tomorrow night’s Anzac league Test.

“We’ve heard nothing, but were always assuming that it [the ARU contract offer] would be left alone until after the Test match,” Flowers told the Sydney Morning Herald. “We did agree on a time frame. We always understood, when we offered the contract, that he was likely to be involved in the league Test. So we’ll wait until after that.”

The ARU maintains Gasnier is interested in changing codes because of the challenge and not because of a potentially large salary increase.

“(Wallabies coach) John Connolly has spoken to Mark a number of times and certainly formed a view that this was about more than just money,” Flowers said.