LONDON Broncos released disgruntled former Australian Test fullback, Paul Hauff from his contract, two months before the start of the inaugural (summer) Super League season.
New London coach, former Australian Test centre, Tony Currie confirmed the news after a reported ‘confrontation’ between Hauff and London chairman, Barry Maranta, the former chairman of the Brisbane Broncos.
Hauff went to England in October, 1995, hoping to rejuvenate a career which had had more lows than highs since having played for Australia against New Zealand in 1991.
Currie confirmed the signing of Penrith’s Greg Barwick as replacement for Hauff, with another Penrith player, Tulsen Tollett, also lured to the UK. Tollett was born at Hastings in East Sussex and qualified for England.
London signed Currie after ‘sacking’ former Brisbane Souths and St Helens (England) forward, Gary Grienke, with former North Sydney skipper, Tony Rea and former Brisbane Broncos’ lock, Terry Matterson taking training sessions, while Currie got his affairs in order back in Australia.
Currie had been appointed defence coach at the Broncos, but took the England job with the blessing of Brisbane’s super coach, Wayne Bennett.
The magnitude of Currie’s task was rammed home by London’s 12-10 loss to West Yorkshire club, Dewsbury in a round 4 Challenge Cup (knock-out) competition match played just a few days before his arrival in the UK.
Grienke, who had coached Currie at Wests in Brisbane in 1993, insisted he had been sacked, while Maranta argued they simply could not agree on a new incentive based contract.
Meanwhile, former Queensland State of Origin back, Mitch Brennan was appointed football manager of English first division club, Wakefield Trinity where former Australian prop, Peter Tunks was chief executive and Englishman, Paul Harkin the coach.
Former Bronco, Anthony Siebold and Warwick signing, Frank Barrett were named in Balmain’s side to play South Queensland Crushers in a trial at Toowoomba.