Oberon Tigers have pulled off a signing coup by securing one of the most-loved characters in the National Rugby League, “Gorgeous” George Rose, and his brothers Matt and Trent.
The three brothers wanted the opportunity to play footy together before they hang up their boots, and Oberon has given them that chance.
Matt and Trent were most recently with Orange CYMS, playing in last year’s Group 10 premier league grand final.
George, 33, has enjoyed a career that has spanned the Roosters (2004-5), Manly (2006-13), the Storm (2014) and the Dragons (2015).
The brothers are proud indigenous Australians and have spent considerable time mentoring young Aboriginal players.
Ross Gibson from Oberon Tigers rushed to Sydney on Tuesday night so the three men could sign.
He was ecstatic yesterday morning, admitting it was a coup for the Tigers.
“There was such a great feeling last night. Everyone is so excited,” Mr Gibson said. “They are so determined to win. Losing is not an option for them.
“They have so many ties to the town and are looking forward to playing here.
“George has all these ideas about bringing other NRL players out here to meet the boys and encourage them.
“It will be good for football and it will be good for the community.
“We need a bit of a shot in the arm. We have been waiting so long for this.”
Mr Gibson said the Tigers haven’t won a game in 18 months and he hopes the Rose brothers will bring a lot of spirit to the premier league team, as well as guidance and inspiration for younger players.
Talks with the Rose brothers started about five months ago, but this week everything has happened very quickly.
Mr Gibson said that despite the short notice, at least two of the brothers will be playing in tomorrow night’s knockout in Bathurst.
A Bathurst Penguins junior, George Rose shares his father and grandfather’s name. His dad died when he was just nine years old.
During the round 11, 2007 match against the Melbourne Storm, Rose badly broke his leg in a tackle midway through the second half.
He missed the rest of the 2007 season, including Manly’s grand final appearance.
In 2008, he featured for the Indigenous Dreamtime team against the New Zealand Maori in a curtain-raiser to the opening game of the World Cup.
Rose broke back into Manly’s top side in 2009 and was named as the Sea Eagles player of the year for the 2009 season.
There was talk last year that Rose would be leaving the NRL, and speculation locally that he might be joining the Tigers.