Ravueta to part ways with rhinos
GRAFTON Rhinos' Fijian import Joe Ravueta is set to turn his back on the club and join the Woolgoolga Seahorses for the start of the 2012 season.
Seahorses' club president Chris Hughes confirmed the Rhinos centre has already put pen to paper and will run out in the blue and black next season.
Ravueta has been the Rhinos' top try-scorer the past two seasons and his departure would be a devastating blow to the club who rely heavily on his ability to find the try line.
But according to Hughes there could be a slight hitch if the Rhinos fail to grant their star centre a release.
"Joe has definitely signed with Woolgoolga and I know for a fact he doesn't want to play for the Rhinos," Hughes told the Examiner
"We're currently going through a visa issue at the moment. There seems to be some confusion if he has a working visa or a sporting visa.
"I know our secretary had a meeting with Joe last Saturday and they discussed his visa requirements.
"We also have someone else looking into it."
Hughes said Ravueta was keen to link up with his former coach who initially arranged for the hard-running centre to play rugby league in Australia.
"Joe wants to play for us because our coach Greg Shuttleworth was the guy who originally got him out here," Hughes revealed.
"Greg got him out from Fiji to play for Sawtell in the first instance."
When the Examiner contacted Woolgoolga's secretary Paul Dwyer he denied the club had in fact signed Ravueta.
"I don't know anything about that as far as I'm concerned there are no problems," Dwyer said.
"As far as I know he hasn't received a release from the Rhinos you'll have to speak to them about that."
Last week Rhinos' coach Shane Osborne told the Examiner he was disturbed by the rumour that Ravueta has been linked to Woolgoolga in the Group 2 competition, but is not sure if anything has been finalised.
"I'm probably hearing the same rumours you are," Osborne said.
"But whether it's as easy for Joe to just say he wants to move down there, I don't know."
In more rugby league news Wests Wollongong are not happy with the Clayton Cup going to the Grafton Ghosts for the second year in a row.
The Paul McGregor-coached Wests have issued a challenge to the Ghosts to play a pre-season friendly in Wollongong next season.
According to the Devils they are bemused over their Clayton Cup snubbing after winning the strong Illawarra competition for the past three seasons.