By DEAN RITCHIE Rugby League Writer
March 8, 2005
RUGBY league great Mark Geyer took aim at Russell Crowe last night, claiming his appearance in the actor's sevens tournament has left him $38,000 out of pocket.
Geyer snapped his leg while playing in the Orara Valley Sevens in northern NSW on January 22.
The former Test star, who has not worked since the injury, said "a bad mistake" on his own part in the insurance paperwork had left him uninsured.
Now he is seeking just $10,000 in compensation to cover medical costs and loss of earnings and says Crowe should be the man to find the cash. The multi-millionaire Hollywood star has so far not been forthcoming.
Geyer, who does not want to take legal action, said last night: "I won't be doing any favours for him again. I've got four kids to support. I don't want the $38,000. Just $10,000 so I'm not putting my hand in my own pocket."
Crowe's bodyguard, Mark Carroll, another former Test player, has been left to handle the drama.
Carroll offered $5000 of his own money to Geyer an offer Geyer rejected because of his friendship with Carroll.
The event, organised by Crowe, attracted 10 former international players. Geyer said: "It was a gesture of goodwill to go up there and play. Russell put his name up for the tournament and now he won't back it up. He has changed his tune pretty quickly.
"I'd like to think he could come to the party. He said he has nothing to do with the event any more.
"They had 10 internationals up there. The crowd was about 4000 to 5000 because of the players that were there. Russell gets all the pats on the back but we were the ones that played."
Geyer yesterday sought advice from NRL chief executive David Gallop. Geyer is also speaking with the Men of League foundation, set up to financially assist former players enduring hardship.
"It was an unfortunate accident but that was six weeks ago ," Geyer said.
"I do work for the disabled people and have had to cancel a heap of speaking engagements because I couldn't walk.
I need another operation this week."
The NRL last night pledged to cover Geyer's financial loss but the former Test forward is disappointed with Crowe.
Gallop said his organisation was willing to assist Geyer, who played club football for Penrith, Balmain and the Western Reds.
"We don't want to see Mark out of pocket," Gallop said last night.
"Ultimately, we will cover it but firstly we'd like to talk to a few other parties and understand their position."