There will be no backflip from Corey Norman, according to Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, who has poured ice water on rumours the fullback may stay at Red Hill after all.
Norman, 22, has signed a lucrative three-year deal with Parramatta and will leave the Broncos at the end of the season, having been involved with the Brisbane club since he was 16.
His decision has sparked a surge in form that has helped Brisbane put a spring in their step ahead of Friday night’s derby against the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium.
Winning changes everything and it didn’t take long for rumours to surface that Norman was rethinking his move to the west of Sydney, with Nine suggesting on Wednesday night that the playmaker was getting cold feet.
It’s not without precedent this season. Canberra’s Josh Papalii backed out after signing a three-year deal with the Eels, leaving Parramatta fuming.
Griffin said Norman wouldn’t be following suit and the Broncos had already started planning life beyond Norman, who prefers playing five-eighth but is behind 2013 signing Scott Prince in the pecking order.
“No. We’ve moved on. As you know, there was a rumour. You blokes are always writing something about us but it certainly hasn’t come from us,” Griffin said.
“He’s made his decision. We respect that and we’ve moved on from that, as he has. The important thing for him is he plays good football, which he’s doing at the moment.
“He has been one of our best. That’s what we expect from him. We just need to keep doing that this week.”
Norman’s silky touch in the backline has come at a good time for Brisbane, given the quality of opponents they have had to deal with of late and the challenge ahead of them on Friday.
It’s also made Broncos fans realise what they will be missing. Norman has been a slow burner at Red Hill but is finally showing the class that many at the club believed he possessed.
And while Griffin has snuffed out any hope of Norman staying, there was some good news at Red Hill, with captain Sam Thaiday becoming a first-time father two days before the Queensland derby.
Thaiday and wife Rachel welcomed a baby girl early on Wednesday night, but the player will still line up against the Cowboys after training in the final preparation on Thursday morning.
The name is yet to be revealed.
“He hasn’t even got a name for her yet,” Griffin said. “He might be holding out for a Woman’s Day deal.”
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