‘He pretended’: Actor roasts Morrison over Cronulla Sharks

Being a Sharks fan has long been part of Morrison's persona.

Source: Channel Nine/2018

Actor and rugby league fanatic Brendan Cowell has roasted Scott Morrison over his self-declared devotion to the Cronulla Sharks, accusing the former PM of being a fake fan.

“He did it well. He pretended very well that he was a rugby league guy,” the Avatar: Way of Water star told SEN Breakfast on Thursday.

“I bought it. I think he did the same thing with being a prime minister. I think he did a great job of convincing everyone of that as well. I don’t know which one he did better.”

Morrison, who will officially be replaced as the MP for the southern Sydney seat of Cook at this weekend’s byelection, was given the Sharks’ No.1 spot while he was federal treasurer. Last month, he announced on social media that he was handing back the honour.

“Having now retired from politics, I have advised the Sharks CEO, Dino Mezzatesta, that it was time for me to also pass the No.1 ticket-holder status back to the club,” he wrote.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with the club in this role and am deeply grateful for the club giving me that honour over the past eight seasons, and will look forward to continuing to be a passionate supporter in the many years ahead.”

Morrison has made much of his love for Cronulla over the years, even referencing the team in his farewell speech from parliament.

“As always – up, up Cronulla,” he finished with.

News of his departure as No.1 ticket-holder was announced over the loudspeakers at the Sharks’ first home game of the 2024 season at PointsBet Stadium on March 15.

Morrison was at the ground – as was Cowell.

“There was a very, what you would call anticlimactic response to that announcement,” Cowell told the radio station.

“It was just a hubbub with a bit of ‘oh really, oh well’. We won’t miss him whipping his scarf around his head like no one ever does in rugby league, you know what I mean?”

Cronulla-raised Cowell is a life-long rugby league devotee – and, according to the club, a “fanatical Sharks fan”.

“I turned around to the manager at the Sharks and I said, ‘Dino [Mezzatesta], I’m in a collared shirt, should we just go on the field and do it? I look good. We could just do the announcement right now’ – and he burst out laughing,” Cowell said.

The 47-year-old was on SEN on Thursday to discuss his latest rugby league project – a TV series based on his book Plum. The six-part drama series, expected to air on the ABC next year, features rugby league legends Andrew Johns, Paul Gallen, James Graham and Mark Carroll – along with actor Asher Keddie.

Morrison maintains he will continue to attend Sharks games, even as he seeks a new life outside politics.

“I’ve stepped back from politics and public life,” he told Sydney’s 2GB radio the day after his official farewell.

“I’ll still be going to the games and I’ll still be cheering just as loud. I was singing the song proudly last night.

“I just thought if I’m stepping down from public life, then I should step down from these sorts of roles and they can give it to someone new.”

Morrison’s post-parliamentary job is with US consulting firm American Global Strategies, while he also has an advisory role with DYNE Maritime. He is also spruiking his new book, Plans for Your Good – A Prime Minister’s Testimony of God’s Faithfulness, which will be published in May.

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