NRL star David Williams could be squeezed out as Manly Sea Eagles look for way to keep Glenn Stewart

Former NSW and Australia representative David Williams could be squeezed out of Manly as the club struggles to balance the books for next year.
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Williams was dumped to the NSW Cup on Sunday following the return of winger Jorge Taufua from injury. The other wing spot went to Peta Hiku, who is poised to sign a three-year extension this week despite a more lucrative offer from the Warriors.

Williams recently signed a two-year extension but it’s understood Manly management will not stand in his way should he request a release. The “Wolfman” could dig his heels in but he is rated the third-choice winger for the Sea Eagles and faces the prospect of seeing out his contract in the NSW Cup unless injuries or form conspire against the incumbents. It’s understood Manly powerbrokers plan to discuss the matter with Williams’ management this week.

The Sea Eagles are keen to retain Glenn Stewart but don’t have room under the salary cap to table him an offer. Officials have spoken to his management about the possibility of keeping him should other players be released. However, the grand finalists are already over the cap for next year and, even if Williams departed, those funds alone wouldn’t be available for Stewart’s retention.

Manly have been arguably the most dominant club of the past decade, a constant finalist and winner of two grand finals. Former coach Des Hasler was able to retain the nucleus of the squad by back-ending contracts. The practice has proven successful but has left the current management with a problem as it tries to strike a balance between rewarding those responsible for past success while retaining enough talented youngsters to ensure the good times continue.

Other Sea Eagles off contract this year include Jamie Buhrer and Tom Symonds. Players becoming free agents the following season include Daly Cherry-Evans, Kieran Foran, Justin Horo and Steve Matai.

For Stewart to be made an offer, the club would most likely need to move on at least three players. Even then, the NRL could deem the contract does not reflect his status and refuse to register it.

The good news for Manly is Hiku is close to a deal. A big step towards agreement came when Hiku was preferred to Williams against Cronulla, outlining a clear career path for a man who has done a fine job at fullback covering Brett Stewart’s injuries.

“It’d be really good to stay and play at Manly,” Hiku told Sky Sports Radio.

“Everyone there has brought me in well, it’d be tough to leave. My manager called me last night, hopefully we can get something sorted this week. We’ll just see what happens there.”

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I’m In The Money aims to cash in at Randwick

CHANCE: Jeff Englebrecht with I’m In The Money at his Wyong stables. Picture: Max Mason-HubersA RACE won by his best horse almost a decade ago again looms large for former Muswellbrook trainer Jeff Englebrecht if I’m In The Money runs well at Randwick this afternoon.
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I’m In The Money is being aimed at the Tamworth Cup, and a winning return to city racing will confirm a start in the $80,000 race on April 27.

The mare, a Hugh Bowman mount, will be one of the main chances in the Theraces南京夜网.au Handicap after surprising her trainer with a placing over 1000 metres at Wyong.

“She sprinted a bit better than I thought she would,” Englebrecht, who is now based at Wyong, said.

“Blake Shinn rode her and he had never been on her before, but he came back and said she is in for a good prep.”

Englebrecht trained Newton’s Rings to win the 2006 Tamworth Cup among the grand galloper’s 22 victories during a career also notable for a near miss against one of Australia’s glamour gallopers.

A few months after his Tamworth win, Newton’s Rings was beaten a nose by the Australian Derby winner Eremein in the Chelmsford Stakes.

“It was probably just as well he did get beaten that day because he probably would have been weighted out of all those country cups that he won,” Englebrecht said.

I’m In The Money returns today to the Kensington track, the scene of her only city victory when she made her own luck on the way to beating Candy Tuft in a 1400-metre race in January.

“She seems to like the surface. It’s a little bit forgiving for her,” Englebrecht said.

The Kensington track has been lauded for its recuperative powers since it was reopened last year, and it’s unlikely to let officials down today.

It was rated in the dead range while the course proper was still heavy after an inspection yesterday morning.

● A 4000m flat race at Sandown today will not only be a distance test for stayer Luck’s A Fortune, but also his jockey.

Apprentice Harry Coffey has ridden the Pat Carey-trained Luck’s A Fortune to back-to-back wins in both heats of the Marathon Series at Sandown over 3200m and 3600m and has the job again in today’s final.

“He actually was a bit keener last start than the start before, so it was actually a bit more tiring,” Coffey said.

“So hopefully I’m fit enough for the 4000 metres. That’s my only worry, if I can get the trip. Because he’ll definitely get it.”

Coffey suffers from cystic fibrosis but hasn’t let that stop him from achieving on the racetrack during his apprenticeship.

He has ridden 50 winners this season in Victoria, including 17 in town, and has notched metropolitan doubles twice in the past month.

Luck’s A Fortune, winner by more than four lengths last start, is one of six rides for Coffey at Sandown.

“He has improved the further he has gone, so hopefully he improves again,” Coffey said.

“I think I’m on the right horse.”

Riding over a long distance will be a new experience for some of the jockeys.

Three-time Melbourne Cup winner Glen Boss rides By His Design, while Craig Newitt, who has won a Sydney Cup over 3200m, partners Hawkesinthesky in the nine-horse field.

Coffey sits third in the Melbourne apprentices’ premiership, one win behind Katelyn Mallyon and six behind Patrick Moloney, who is sidelined for about three months with ankle injuries after a fall. AAP

Knee injury rules Aku Uate out of Knights team to play Broncos

FORMER NSW and Australian winger Aku Uate will miss Newcastle’s game against Brisbane at Hunter Stadium on Friday night due to a knee injury he suffered in the Knights’ 26-12 victory over the Raiders in Canberra last Saturday.
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The Knights did not divulge details of Uate’s injury but said he had scans and would be sidelined for three weeks.

Italian World Cup winger Josh Mantellato has been named to replace Uate on the right wing for the game against the Broncos.

Captain Kurt Gidley and prop Kade Snowden, who both suffered head knocks and were replaced during the second half against the Raiders, were named but are still being monitored for post-concussion symptoms and will need medical clearances before being allowed to play.

Aku Uate. Pic: Dean Osland

Former skipper Sam Thaiday has been cleared to take his place in the Brisbane pack after pleading guilty to a grade-one dangerous contact charge arising from Brisbane’s 12-8 loss to Gold Coast Titans at Robina last Friday night.

Thaiday pleaded guilty to placing unnecessary pressure to the head or neck of an opponent, Queensland Origin team-mate Nate Myles, in the 16th minute of the game but he did not incur enough demerit points to warrant suspension.

Knights: Darius Boyd, James McManus, Dane Gagai, Joey Leilua, Josh Mantellato, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Kurt Gidley (c), Willie Mason, Beau Scott, Chris Houston, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Adam Clydsdale, Korbin Sims, Robbie Rochow, Zane Tetevano.

Broncos: Ben Barba, Daniel Vidot, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges (c), Dale Copley, Josh Hoffman, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Corey Parker (c), Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett. Interchange: Martin Kennedy, Todd Lowrie, Ben Hannant, Corey Oates, Jarrod Wallace (one to be omitted).

Referees: Ashley Klein, Adam Gee

Animal activists claim footage shows abuse of Australian animals in Gaza

Andrew Wilkie Photo: Phil ThomsonAnimal welfare activists have released new video footage documenting alleged abuse of Australian cattle in Gaza.
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Animals Australia says videos taken between February and last week [warning, graphic footage] show that live export regulations continue to be ignored with horrific consequences for Australian animals.

The organisation says it has reported six incidents in Gaza to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry since the start of this year and that mistreatment is occurring on a nightly basis.

The department confirmed on Tuesday it was investigating complaints made in February and said it had suspended the use of Gaza municipal abattoir for the slaughter of Australian animals while it verified the footage.

But the advocacy group is calling for tougher action against the Australian exporter whose animals are the subject of the claims, Livestock Shipping Services.

The footage shows cattle with ear tags consistent with Australian livestock, but Fairfax has been unable to confirm independently that the animals were exported from Australia by Livestock Shipping Services.

The graphic footage shows cattle tied up and bleeding as workers struggle to subdue the animals.

One piece of footage shows a bull being stabbed in the eye after staff struggle to secure it in a restraint box.

Animals Australia says investigators shot the videos at the one government-approved slaughterhouse in Gaza, as well as a number of unauthorised abattoirs.

Lisa Chalk, a spokeswoman for Animals Australia, said that as a result of a complaint the organisation made in November, the department had not granted any new export permits for consignments that included the Gaza supply chain.

But Ms Chalk said Australian animals remained in the market in Gaza and a further shipment had recently arrived in Israel.

“No action has been taken to stop cruelty to animals that were already in Gaza,” she said.

“They’ve not taken any responsibility for the animals that are still there.”

The managing director of Livestock Shipping Services, Ahmad Ghosheh, said the company had voluntarily suspended supply to Gaza last October, but was aware of the recent complaints involving animals already there.

“Recent political difficulties in the region have made access to the supply chain facilities extremely difficult for LSS, however, specialist consultants have been on site in the past week to carry out the necessary remediation strategies required to ensure compliance with ESCAS for the processing of remaining cattle from this final shipment,” he said.

A department spokesman said “the exporter is working to ensure that no further animals are slaughtered until the abattoir can operate in a manner consistent with international animal welfare standards.”

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Bill Shorten farewells mother, Ann, at private funeral in Melbourne

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and two of his children outside the funeral service held for his mother Ann at the Xavier College Chapel, Melbourne. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his brother were among the pallbearers at his mother Ann’s funeral. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
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Bill Shorten and his mother Ann in 2005. Photo: John Donegan

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has farewelled his mother, Ann Rosemary, at a moving private ceremony in Melbourne’s east.

Held in the stunning sandstone structure that is the Xavier College Chapel, in Kew, Mr Shorten and his twin, Robert, delivered a joint emotional eulogy on Tuesday honouring their mother’s life-long commitment to the pursuit of education.

Among Mr Shorten’s federal Labor colleagues who attended were Anthony Albanese, Tony Burke, former Speaker Anna Burke, Kelvin Thomson, David Feeney, Mark Dreyfus and Warren Snowdon.

Mr Shorten’s mother-in-law, former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce, did not attend the service.

A devastated Mr Shorten – shouldering the load as a pallbearer, along with his twin and other male relatives – was comforted by his wife Chloe, their daughter Clementine, and Ms Shorten’s two children Georgette and Rupert.

Leading names among Victoria’s political, academic, corporate and social circles gathered after the service on the chapel steps, its views of Melbourne soaring beyond the expansive grounds.

Ann Shorten, 79, died on Sunday, April 6, her loss described as “a shock to me and my family” by the Opposition Leader.

Xavier resonates with the Shorten family. Credited as the driving force behind her family’s academic and political success, Ann Shorten was determined her sons would receive an education under the guidance of the Jesuits. She was not religious, but as a cultural Catholic and an educator she respected Jesuit education. She sent her boys to Xavier and went back to work as a teacher to help pay the fees.

The predominantly Catholic service was also ministered by an Anglican reverend, a reflection of the family’s mixed faiths.

Ann Shorten – nee McGrath – was, by all accounts, an extraordinary woman.

The daughter of a Ballarat-born printer – and union leader – she tested the conventions of the day by putting her education and then career ahead of marriage and motherhood until she was in her 30s – a move almost unheard of for working-class young women at the time.

She was awarded a teaching scholarship after matriculation, received an arts and an education diploma in the 1950s,and then a doctorate from Melbourne University.

It was the first of many academic milestones.

Most notably, much later in her life, she won the Supreme Court prize in 1985. Her twin boys – Bill and Robert (both named for their late father, William Robert) were by then in their first year at the same university as their mother, Monash. ”I was a very embarrassing mother,” she told Fairfax Media in a 2009 profile on her son, Bill.

Ann met her husband William Robert Shorten on a cruise to Japan in late 1965.

Bill snr, from Tyneside, was the ship’s second engineer. After the church wedding in East Malvern, where her parents lived, the Shortens held the festivities on the ship.

Mr Shorten said in a statement his mother’s death had come as a great shock to him and his family.

‘‘I was very close to my mum,” Mr Shorten said.

“My family and I have received many kind messages of support from friends, colleagues and members of the community for which we are very grateful.”

Mr Shorten has been on leave since receiving news of his mother’s unexpected death but is expected to return to official duties this week.

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