Sport

Gagai has backing of Sailor

Wendell Sailor
Wendell Sailor

FORMER dual-international Wendell Sailor yesterday said he expected other NRL clubs to line-up for the signature of dumped Broncos youngster Dane Gagai.

Sailor, who was banned from football for two years after a positive drug test while playing rugby for the NSW Waratahs in 2006, said it was human nature to make mistakes.

Gagai, who happens to be Sailor's cousin, was given permission to look elsewhere by the Broncos after a series of disciplinary breaches, despite signing a new two-year deal with the club just six weeks ago.

Sailor said the 21-year-old had too much talent to be ignored by other NRL clubs.

"I'm sure his manager will be fielding some calls," he said. "It's not the end for him, it's a beginning.

"I can tell you now there will be clubs queueing up to take him on and I bet he has one or two phone calls to ask him what he is doing.

"He has just made a few bad choices which have cost him his contract with the Broncos."

Sailor, who was given a second chance by Wayne Bennett as a 33-year-old after his drug suspension finished, said the NRL history books were littered with stories about players who became great contributors after falling foul of club and community standards.

"I've made mistakes. Todd Carney, Greg Bird ... lots of people make mistakes in all sorts of sports and career paths," Sailor said.

"It's just natural to make mistakes.

"I know Broncos fans are disappointed because they've lost Gerard Beale (to the Dragons) and now Dane.
"I'm disappointed for him. I've watched him in the under-20s and he can play fullback, centre or wing ... he's just a very talented footballer."

Clearly the patience of Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, keen to ensure the players meet the highest possible standards, ran out.

And given the offences were not unlawful, Gagai is certain to attract plenty of interest.

His father Ray also played for the Broncos but his career was cut short by injury.

And Dane's younger brother Jacob has also attracted the Broncos' interest, recently attending a training session at the club.

Sailor said Ray had been his hero when he was growing up in Sarina and playing rugby league in Mackay.

"He was a hero to me for what he did in the Foley Shield," Sailor said.

Topics:  dane gagai, nrl, wendell sailor


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