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Former Leeds Rhinos forward calls for more ‘honesty’ around player transfers

Former Leeds Rhinos man Anthony Mullally has opened up, calling for more honesty around player transfers in rugby league.

Known as the ‘Vegan Warrior’, he played 71 times for the Rhinos from 2016 to 2019.

Mullally represented Ireland at two World Cups, and towards the end of his career, he journeyed far from the sport’s traditional heartlands, playing for AS Carcassonne, Toronto Wolfpack and, most recently, Cornwall RLFC.

His greatest success came as Leeds Rhinos won the Grand Final in 2017.

Speaking on The Bench podcast with Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin, he gave his thoughts on how transfers are handled:

“I’d like more honesty and integrity in the way things are handled from coach, from club to coach to player.

“So for example, when a club will come in and try to buy another player, the player is often told ‘everything’s fine, it’s okay’, and then the next thing you get sold.

“I get that it’s a business but you can still go about things with more openness. Rather than the coach pretending that it’s fine and you’re in the plans, just be honest and open about it.

“They’re adults at the end of the day.”

Should players have more power?

Anthony Mullally celebrates a try with Matt Parcell (R) and Danny McGuire (L). Credit: Imago Images

Mullally knows all about transfer moves, as he played for twelve clubs in his career, including Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity.

He went on to call for more power on the players’ side, rather than just the clubs having the say.

He said: “Let them know so you don’t have to move the family away last minute. Let them know, so they can prepare instead of it being last minute.

“I want more player power, more control. So it’s a big decision being made. I think players and the governing body need to have a say.”

His comments come shortly after the saga surrounding John Asiata’s move from Leigh Leopards to Hull FC.

Some of his comments in a Hull FC statement hadn’t been agreed with the Leopards, causing him to come out with an apology, in which he said:

“Whilst I had agreed that they could be used, as the story had broken and Hull FC wanted to confirm it, I wasn’t aware that it hadn’t been agreed with the club.”

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