Australia prop Ben Ross denies claims he is signing for London Broncos
Last Updated: 17/01/14 10:40pm
Ben Ross: Staying in Australia after rejecting the Broncos
Australian prop Ben Ross has refuted reports he is heading to England to play for the London Broncos.
The capital club looked to have added experience to their new, youthful squad when coach Tony Rae claimed his bid to tempt the 33-year-old out of retirement had been the "easiest deal" he had ever done.
But posts on Ross' Twitter account on Friday night suggested no such deal was in place.
"To hear I have sign with London Broncos is not the truth. They had offered a contract and Tony Rea was a complete professional. I have now decided to stay in Australia & follow my passion for community welfare. More will be explained on Monday," Ross said.
If true, it will rob the Broncos of the 6ft 3in Ross, who played for St George Illawarra, Penrith, with whom he won the 2003 NRL Premiership, and South Sydney before finishing his NRL career in 2013 with Cronulla.
"He retired but the word going around Australia was that he didn't really want to," Rea had said.
"We made a phone call and it was the easiest deal we've ever done. The guy was so hungry to keep playing.
"If someone has retired and you've got to drag them out, that usually means a week of talking to the wife and kids but this was done in an hour.
"This was a bloke who wanted to play. He's a meat and potatoes prop who will drive you forward and gets all his jobs done."
Ross was to be the Londoners' fifth signing in a busy off-season, joining Melbourne winger Denny Solomona, Tonga full-back Nesiasi Mataitonga, former St Helens hooker Scott Moore and Hull KR forward George Griffin at Barnet.
Rea is reshaping his squad after a winter of uncertainty which saw the Broncos eventually secure a future at Barnet's The Hive.
He has backed Solomona to make a name for himself in Super League following his arrival from Melbourne, where his path to the first team was blocked by Australia full-back Billy Slater.
He said: "Denny is a talented individual who has been really brave in his decision to come here. This is a way of putting himself out on his own stage.
"He had a contract at Melbourne, which he left to join us, and had the full support of Melbourne and the Broncos to do that."