Rogers set for code switch

Australia utility back Mat Rogers is expected to be released from the final year of his rugby union contract as early as Wednesday, allowing him to move to rugby league in 2007. [more]

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Australia utility back Mat Rogers is expected to be released from the final year of his rugby union contract as early as Wednesday, allowing him to move to rugby league in 2007.

After Rogers met with NSW Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie on Tuesday to express his desire to quit the 15-man game, he is expected ask the Australia Rugby Union for a release on Wednesday.

ARU Chief Executive Gary Flowers confirmed that he will meet with Rogers, and hinted that the 30-year-old Rogers will have his wish granted.

"The ARU wants players who pull on the Wallabies jersey to wear it with pride and respect," Flowers told The Daily Telegraph.

"There are a number of factors that might not allow Mat Rogers to do that, but I cannot comment on what they are."

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Despite being moved to the bench for the Wallabies final two Tests of their European tour, Rogers is believed to be unhappy at not being given a chance to perform in the number 10 jersey for the Wallabies.

McKenzie confirmed that he could not guarantee Rogers that he would be able to play in his desired fly-half position for the Waratahs in 2007.

"I am open-minded. I don’t promise positions," McKenzie said.

"It’s about the team and what is best for the team. A lot of young guys are also coveting the number 10 position but my job is to coach the squad to play as a team.

"I have to be careful I don’t spend my time coaching the team for the benefit of individuals."

With Rogers’ rugby contract believed to be worth approximately $500,000 a season, the ARU is set to allow Rogers to return to league one year earlier than expected and join new franchise the Gold Coast Titans.

Gold Coast boss Michael Searle confirmed the Titans would offer Rogers a deal for 2007 if he was released by the ARU.

"Obviously Mat will be with us in 2008," he said.

"It would make sense to have him here for 2007 too. We will sit down and talk to him if he is released."

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