BY CURTIS WOODWARD
Season 2017 is going to be a weird one. Robbie Farah at South Sydney, Benji Marshall at Brisbane, someone else here, someone else there. The National Rugby League stops for no man and if you want to keep your head above water, you have to take whatever you can get. But some players just look downright odd in another team’s jersey. Here’s ten players that look absolutely strange in anything but the jersey we remember them in!
10 Anthony Watmough
Much like Glenn Stewart (who we’ll get to in a minute), Anthony Watmough typified the new breed of Sea Eagle. The dynamic forward cut his teeth in battling Manly sides but flourished as Manly became a heavyweight force again. Due to ongoing sagas off-field, Watmough walked away and signed a huge deal at Parramatta. We all know how that finished.
9 Glenn Stewart
Brothers Glenn and Brett Stewart are as Manly as you get and the pair became club legends in premiership-winning Eagles teams in 2008 and 2011. But things began to unravel at the club after it won the 2011 grand final with coach Des Hasler leaving the club. Factions took over and a number of Manly veterans found themselves on the outer including Glenn. Then came the news that Stewart was joining South Sydney. It was a short stint at Redfern for the lock only playing 18 games.
8 Ricky Stuart/Brad Clyde
You can’t have one without the other. With a bunch of youngsters coming through in Canberra, legendary Raiders men Ricky Stuart and Brad Clyde were told they were unwanted which made quite the fuss down in the nation’s capital. Instead of retiring, Stuart and Clyde signed on with Canterbury.
7 Steve Rogers
One of Cronulla’s best ever players and an icon of the club. At the end of 1982 however, the Sharks were in financial peril and couldn’t afford the man known as ‘Sludge’. Rogers signed with Cronulla’s bitter rivals St. George and played 29 games over a two-year period. He returned to Shark Park but only managed a handful of games before breaking his jaw.
6 Paul Vautin
Manly’s legendary 1987 premiership-winning skipper who spilt gallons of blood for the Sea Eagles. At the end of his career, Vautin was lured across to Eastern Suburbs where he would finish up in reserve grade.
5 Anthony Mundine
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny his love for the Dragons. That’s why it’s hard to fathom Mundine in a Brisbane Broncos jersey. But that’s exactly what happened in 1997 when ‘The Man’ switched to the Super League club. He played the one season, winning the title and then headed back to Kogarah.
4 Benji Marshall
Amid simmering tension at the Wests Tigers, Benji Marshall walked out to try his hand in rugby union at the Auckland Blues. It didn’t work out and Marshall quickly found himself back in the NRL but not at Wests. Instead, he signed on with the St George Illawarra Dragons. Does it get any stranger than seeing Benji in a Dragons strip? Sure does. Check out number three.
3 Benji Marshall
Most thought Benji’s career was over when his Dragons contract expired at the end of the 2016 season. But then in the eleventh hour, Benji called Wayne Bennett. They got to talking and before you knew it, Brisbane were announcing his signing. How much footy he gets at the Broncos is still up in the air.
2 Matthew Johns
He was just as Newcastle as his brother Andrew but when Matty Johns was pushed out of the Knights due to financial constraints, he said he’d never play against his beloved club as he headed off on an English adventure. He was soon back in Australia after a stint with Wigan and was offered a lifeline by Cronulla. He took it but it just wasn’t right. Making things worse, in his return to Newcastle as a Shark, Andrew’s Knights destroyed them on a Friday night racking up a cricket score.
1 Robbie Farah
Whether you were Team Farah or Team Taylor, seeing Robbie Farah in anything but a Wests Tigers jersey is just weird. In 2017, Farah will run out for South Sydney after signing a two-year deal.