NRL legend Andrew Johns said he supports a strange clause in Corey Harawira-Naera’s contract with the Raiders.
Just over a week ago Canberra confirmed the signing of the former Bulldogs back-rower after Canterbury agreed to release him for the remainder of the 2020 NRL season.
The New Zealand International had his NRL deregistration overturned and finished serving a 10-game suspension for the pre-season Port Macquarie schoolgirl scandal in March also involving Jayden Okunbor.
As part of Harawira-Naera’s Canberra deal, it’s been reported that he doesn’t have to play the Bulldogs when the two teams face each other in round 16.
“I think it’s a a bit of good will,” Johns said on Wide World of Sports’ Immortal Behaviour.
“The Bulldogs let Corey go on compassionate grounds. He just – right or wrong – did not want to play for the Bulldogs, and I totally get that.
“He said he had no support after he was banned. He said publicly he didn’t have any calls form the Bulldogs, so I totally understand that he wanted to leave on compassionate grounds.
“A bit of give and take, the Raiders said, ‘Righto if you’re going to have the divorce from the Bulldogs, we won’t let you play against them’.”
After joining his new club in the nation’s capital, the Raiders wasted no time putting him to use at training this week and he’s set to make his debut for the ‘Green Machine’ on Saturday against the Cowboys.
It will be his first NRL game since last season, but Johns said he was not surprised Harawira-Naera has been named for the Raiders so soon after joining the club with the Kiwi presenting a long-term solution for the exit of John Bateman at season’s end.
“He’s a top-line player,” Johns said.
“I think he’ll go sensationally.
“He’ll be a little bit rusty but the sounds Corey was making about he wanted out from Canterbury, he’s got a point to prove, and when players have that point to prove they really aim up.”