Kearney sacking sparks Warriors player exodus

New Zealand Warriors owner Mark Robinson has revealed that five-eighth Blake Green will lead an exodus of players managed by controversial NRL agent Isaac Moses after the sacking of coach Stephen Kearney.

Kearney, who is also managed by Moses, was suddenly shown the door by the Warriors two weeks ago.

Speaking to NZ’s 1 NEWS, Robinson said that Green would be also be leaving the struggling club after the 2020 NRL season.

“There’s a few of the other boys going,” Robinson said.

“[Blake] Green and [Gerard] Beale and a few of them are going, and we’re gonna be really, really cautious of how we approach any other players.”

Moses is a controversial figure in the rugby league world, having drawn criticism over his player management style from NRL analyst Phil Gould and current Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart in recent weeks, following the league’s investigation into him.

Moses has appealed the NRL’s decision to have him de-registered, alleging he convinced former client and rugby league player Tim Mannah to provide false evidence to mislead the competition’s Integrity Unit.

Moses has been in more headlines since, with his client, Raiders Englishman John Bateman, choosing to prematurely end his time in Canberra in search of a better deal for 2021 and beyond, despite Stuart claiming he was given “a very, very, very good offer” to extend his contract.

Moses defended his management of Bateman, speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald this week.

“My job is to look after the best interests of my clients, which I have always done, without fear or favour,” he said in a statement.

“I respect Ricky Stuart. He was a great player and is a great coach. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is entitled to his opinion like everyone else.

“At the same time, it was Canberra who agreed a clause in John’s current deal to sit down and revisit his salary each year – a contract I had nothing to do with.

“Player movement happens both ways, such is the nature of professional sport. Look around the NRL – in virtually every single team, including the Raiders, there are players who were signed whilst under contract with other clubs.

“When a club decides to move on a player who is under contract it barely gets a mention, but it happens, far more regularly than the other way around.”

Stuart rips into NRL player managers after Bateman exit

The agent reportedly threatened the Warriors that he would remove the players on his books at the club if they didn’t re-sign Kearney.

That obviously didn’t happen, but it seems to have sparked a mass exit starting with Green and Beale.

Moses is also the manager of Adam Blair and Kearney’s temporary replacement Todd Payten.

Robinson said the reason Kearney was sacked came down to “personality”.

“[It was] just the wrong personality for the people that we have, the club that we’ve got and where I wanna go,” he said.

“I need someone with some personality.”

The club owner said they approached Craig Bellamy’s manager to suss out his interest in crossing the ditch from the Melbourne Storm, but was told there was “no chance”.

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