A Ray Warren’s regular stand-in, NRL viewers are familiar with Ray Hadley’s experienced voice calling games – but the 40-year veteran won’t be back this season.
A Ray Warren’s regular stand-in, NRL viewers are familiar with Ray Hadley’s experienced voice calling games – but the 40-year veteran won’t be back this season.

Nine’s tough call on footy commentator Ray Hadley

Broadcaster Ray Hadley has been benched by Channel 9 and told his services are not required in 2020 - despite being under contract to call the footy.

The 2GB morning host had been a regular back-up caller to veteran Ray Warren for several years, often covering Friday night out-of-town games for the free-to-air network.

One of the country's most experienced sports broadcasters, Hadley is a household name in rugby league from covering the game for over four decades on radio and TV.

Ray Hadley won’t be back on Nine for the 2020 season. Photo: Ruttyn Sam
Ray Hadley won’t be back on Nine for the 2020 season. Photo: Ruttyn Sam

Instead, Channel 9 is using Rabbits Warren and Matt Thompson - the commentator dubbed "the invisible man" after it was revealed by his Nine colleague Neil Breen that there is an edict at Channel 9 not to show Thompson's head on television.

Nine will also use little known Brisbane-based caller Peter Psaltis for NRL games out of Queensland, instead of Hadley.

It is a terrible snub for Hadley.

When contacted by The Sunday Telegraph, he declined to comment and suggested we call Nine's new head of sport Brett Williams, who made the decision to cut him.

Which we did.

"Ray's under contract but he's not in our plans for this year," Williams said. "That's basically it. We've got four callers and we don't need four. We're happy to go with three."

Hadley earlier this year stood down from the 2GB Continuous Call team after more than 30 years, but had always planned to continue on television.

He will still call State of Origin and the NRL grand final for 2GB.


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