Rugby League

NRL clubs launch raid for son of The Man

Anthony Mundine’s teenage son has four NRL clubs chasing him for the 2020 season, according to a report.

18-year-old CJ Mundine’s fairytale prospect of wearing the same No. 6 jumper his father so famously wore at the Dragons is now up in the air with three rival clubs all signalling their intent to poach the emerging talent.

After two seasons with the Dragons’ SG Ball (U18s) squad, Mundine this year took the step of playing senior A-Grade football with the Matraville Tigers where he even played in the same team as his old man in July.

According to Wide World of Sports, the rising star is now being targeted by the Raiders, Bulldogs and Titans.

The report claims the Dragons are also hopeful of holding onto the backline utility to keep the dream alive of another Mundine representing the iconic Red V.

Anthony "Choc" Mundine and with his son CJ who has recently signed with St George. Photo Jeremy PiperSource:News Corp Australia

According to reports Mundine Jnr is seen as a long-term prospect and is facing at least one more season in lower-grade competition.

Mundine told Nine his son has what it takes to make it in the NRL.

“I’ve mentored him since he was old enough to walk and said to him, ‘Stay on the straight and narrow – things like drugs and alcohol are a dead end street’,” Mundine senior told Wide World of Sports.

“He has listened and is a real student of the game. He has a big future.”

The Dragons recruited Mundine in 2017 to play five-eighth for their SG Ball team and still have a plan for the talented teenager.

Mundine said at the time his son has a huge career ahead of him.

“He can play, man,” Mundine said.

“And his selection has got nothing to do with his name being Mundine.

“He blitzed it in the trials and he knows hard work beats talent.

“I’m so proud he’s doing it at my old club, the Dragons.”

The former NRL star turned boxer is also stepping back into the ring at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast on November 30 against John Wayne Parr.

Mundine said his return was all about ensuring the Horn defeat wasn’t the final moment of his career.

SEA EAGLES BOOSTED BY LOTTOLAND REVEAL

Lottoland has been confirmed for the opening week of the finals.Source:Getty Images

Manly’s return to Lottoland after asbestos concerns can be the boost the injury stricken NRL club needs ahead of Saturday’s elimination-final against Cronulla. Sea Eagles players returned to training on Tuesday knowing they will play at Brookvale, after leaving their Narrabeen base on Monday unsure about the venue for Saturday’s game.

Players had largely tried to ignore the issue as it hung in the air, but others had joked they would bring astro turf from home to ensure the hill was safe after traces of asbestos were found.

But with eight players still likely to be sidelined for the Sharks clash through injury or suspension, Monday night’s news was a much-needed positive.

“It’s hard to put into words (the difference it makes),” hooker Apisai Koroisau said after the ground was declared safe.

“The atmosphere itself, having the crowd cheer for you, the familiar surroundings knowing that your family is there and all your fans is pretty big. “The aura the ground holds having a semi-final there is pretty incredible.” The Sea Eagles could still be without Morgan Boyle (shoulder) and Jack Gosiewski (leg), with the likes of Martin Taupau (suspension), Tom Trbojevic (pectoral) and Curtis Sironen (foot) already out.

But at Brookvale they do have an advantage.

Manly have won seven of 10 games at their traditional home this year, while coach Des Hasler’s record there extends to 17 of his last 20 in charge of Manly. The Sea Eagles have also recorded big wins in the only two finals matches there in their history, with 24 and 32-point margins over South Sydney and St George Illawarra in 2007 and 2008.

The Sharks, meanwhile, have won just five of 46 games at the venue, with their last way back in 2008.

Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake even claimed on Tuesday he was happy for Sharks fans not to turn up if they were concerned about the ground, as it would allow more home fans to fit.

The Brookvale feel could also be crucial to several younger players feeling at home, given less than half of the Sea Eagles’ squad have played finals football.

“Me, Chez (Cherry-Evans) and Api have spoken quite a bit and been asked a few questions by the younger guys,” five-eighth Dylan Walker said. “They are pretty eager. You just can’t let these games go past you. You can’t take them for granted.

“We’re not in the top-four so there are no double chances for us. It’s do or die.

“This team, the younger boys, have worked really hard in the pre-season and in games to stick it out and get the grinding wins.

“You don’t want to let it go to waste by losing one game.”

— AAP

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