NRL great James Graham has unleashed on unnamed figures who reportedly made up false rumours that the Roosters were interested in Mitchell Moses. News emerged on Thursday night that the Parramatta halfback is staying at the Eels on a new five-year deal, reportedly worth about $6 million.
Moses and the Eels had been at a stalemate over a new deal for a number of weeks, while the Wests Tigers had reportedly offered him $1.5 million per season for five years. The saga took a staggering twist earlier this week when journalist Paul Kent reported on NRL 360 that there were 'rumours' that the Roosters could make a play for Moses.
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Roosters chairman Nick Politis vehemently denied the claims on Wednesday, and the situation exploded on Thursday night when journalist Michael Chammas revealed the Roosters rumours had been completely fabricated. Chammas revealed on the 'Footy Talk' podcast: "A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to someone at a club and this person said 'let's start a rumour. Let's see how long it takes for it to get out that the Roosters are trying to get Mitchell Moses'.
"This person, or this club, decided to continue the narrative about Mitchell Moses and the Roosters...It started by a club thinking it would be funny to see if anyone would take the bait."
Responding to Chammas' revelation on Triple M, Graham exploded. The former Bulldogs and Dragons forward said: "What little b****es they are. What two little b****es.
"No, I'm sorry, in the world of mental health, how has Moses been these past couple of days? Like in terms of waiting to put out fires and, you know, 'oh, are you leaving?' Do you think that helps him?
"Because you two want to start a rumour, you little b****es. What an absolute disgrace, they sound like my mum and my sister gossiping. I hate gossipers. Like they p*** me off."
— Triple M NRL (@TripleM_NRL) March 23, 2023
It remains unclear who Chammas and Graham were referring to. While Kent isn't responsible for starting the rumours, he did air them on NRL 360 on Tuesday night.
“There’s rumours going around, I have not had anyone confirm them, that the Roosters are seeing out whether (Luke) Keary is going to get through the season okay," Kent said. "It is a smart move by Moses’ management if they are going to do that, if he’s holding out just to see what pops up. He still has another year at Parramatta with an option."
Politis later told the Daily Telegraph: “We’re not interested. We’re more than happy with Sam Walker as our halfback."
Mitchell Moses kicks Parramatta to first win of season
Moses played the hero for the Eels on Thursday night, kicking the game-winning field goal in golden point to beat Penrith 17-16 in a grand final rematch. Speaking post-match, Eels coach Brad Arthur said Moses' new deal had not yet been finalised, but that his star halfback's intentions were clear.
"Nothing's been confirmed," Arthur said. "Obviously, he knows what he wants to do and you could see he was thinking very clearly tonight. He's been under a bit of pressure but he responded in the best way possible."
Arthur said the win needed to inspire the Eels into form after their 0-3 start to the season. "We'll see how we respond to it next week," he said.
"We've had some tough games (to start the year) and we could've won all three of them. We've been victims of our own circumstances. At least tonight we took control of it. If we got beaten tonight, there wasn't much more we could've done footy-wise to try and win it."
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