Russell Packer emerges as shock captaincy candidate at Wests Tigers

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Russell Packer emerges as shock captaincy candidate at Wests Tigers

Unread post by wt00 » Wed 08 Nov, 2017 9:32 pm

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has revealed Russell Packer is a shock captaincy candidate as the joint-venture outfit prepares to officially welcome some of its high-profile recruits.

Marquee signings Josh Reynolds, Ben Matulino and Chris McQueen will report to Concord Oval for the first time on Thursday for their opening day of pre-season. The trio are among the captaincy candidates to replace Belmore-bound Aaron Woods alongside a host of senior players including Elijah Taylor and Chris Lawrence.

Cleary revealed Packer will also be in contention for the role when he joins the squad after fulfilling his World Cup commitments with the Kiwis.

"I've known Russell for a long time and he has leadership qualities as well," Cleary told Fairfax Media. "He's not shy about coming forward and having an opinion. He's passionate about what he does.
"It says a lot about who he is as a person [to bounce back from his setbacks]."

Packer's career appeared over when he was jailed for a year for a vicious alcohol-fuelled assault. The prop, who formed a relationship with Cleary from their time at the Warriors, has subsequently turned his life around. He accepted a lifeline from the Dragons, earned the right to return to the NRL after a stint in reserve grade and has undertaken community work and earned a university degree as part of his personal and professional development off the field.

Cleary will see how his new recruits come together with the established members of the squad before picking Woods' successor, but hasn't ruled out appointing co-captains.

"I'm not in a hurry. Even how we do it, I'm pretty open about whether we do that in a traditional way or we try something different," Cleary said. "Co-captains have shown to be pretty successful, the Cowboys have been a pretty good example of that in the recent past. There have also been some other models that have been done. I'm not saying I'm going to do that, it's about looking at what will work best for us.

"I want to see how people go in a new group. It's a completely new group so it may not necessarily be someone you might think."

The Tigers have been the most active club in the open market. Their list of recruits include McQueen, Matulino, Packer, Robbie Rochow, Mahe Fonua, Taane Milne and Corey Thompson. However, most excitement surrounds the arrival of Reynolds. Such was the regard for the former NSW pivot at Canterbury that former skipper James Graham offered to sacrifice the pay rise he was entitled to under the new collective bargaining agreement in order to retain Reynolds.

Cleary said he was excited about Reynolds' ability to unify a side on and off the field.

"He's just got to bring himself, that's the first thing, he doesn't have to do anything different," Cleary said. "That's what we signed him, for what he is, not necessarily for what [outsiders] want him to be.

"He's obviously very experienced, he's played in grand finals, he's played in winning teams pretty much his whole career. He's obviously passionate about the game and who he plays for. That's something that sits well with what we're trying to do.

"He's keen after last season to have a big one and I'm looking forward to working with him.

"There's not many guys around where it's so obvious when they leave a club that they have so much respect with players, fans and members. That's a pretty special quality and something we could certainly do with."

In a selfless gesture, Cleary donated a kidney to his ill brother, Ash, during the off-season. The former Warriors and Panthers coach said the initial signs indicated the operation was a success.

"I'm good and he's going pretty well too," he said. "So far the transfer was a success. It's a long way to go but he's going pretty well and I'm fine."

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Unread post by GNR4LIFE » Wed 08 Nov, 2017 9:50 pm

I'd be very surprised if Packer was named captain, however I would not be against it. If it is one of the new guys I think it would and should be Reynolds. I think it will come down to him and ET. Not a fan of co-captains.

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Unread post by Tigerdon » Wed 08 Nov, 2017 9:53 pm

Didn't see that coming...but I'm not opposed.
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Unread post by Masterton » Wed 08 Nov, 2017 10:22 pm

I prefer to have a captain that will be on the field for most of the game.
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Unread post by tiger_one » Wed 08 Nov, 2017 10:34 pm

"There's not many guys around where it's so obvious when they leave a club that they have so much respect with players, fans and members. That's a pretty special quality and something we could certainly do with."

Anybody who's left us where we have equal respect etc...??
Anyone ???


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Unread post by Geo. » Wed 08 Nov, 2017 10:36 pm

tiger_one wrote:
Wed 08 Nov, 2017 10:34 pm
"There's not many guys around where it's so obvious when they leave a club that they have so much respect with players, fans and members. That's a pretty special quality and something we could certainly do with."

Anybody who's left us where we have equal respect etc...??
Anyone ???
Chris Heighington...
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Geo nailed it...

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Unread post by innsaneink » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 5:41 am

PR piece...cant see it happening

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Unread post by Chris » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 6:03 am

I think that if ET was promised the captaincy when he signed then I expect that he will be captain.

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Unread post by wt01 » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 6:24 am

was he actually promised captain?? :?:

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Unread post by Snake » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 6:53 am

I want a captain that will drive this team to victory’s and command respect ,I do not care who is named captain out of the roster as long the captain selected has the personality to turn this team of pretenders over the past decade into winners and will not take a backward step! A new culture is being born and about time...

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Unread post by Pawsandclaws » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 7:21 am

Tigerdon wrote:
Wed 08 Nov, 2017 9:53 pm
Didn't see that coming...but I'm not opposed.
What a great story of redemption and also belief in him by Cleary. Packer is an impressive speaker and has a lot to offer as captain.

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Unread post by supercoach » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 7:50 am

All fluff at present, there will be a hundred more of these stories over the next free months. It’s all about keeping the name brand out there in lights hoping to attract both interest and memberships. This is when the marketing people earn their keep

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Unread post by tiger_one » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 8:01 am

Geo. wrote:
Wed 08 Nov, 2017 10:36 pm
tiger_one wrote:
Wed 08 Nov, 2017 10:34 pm
"There's not many guys around where it's so obvious when they leave a club that they have so much respect with players, fans and members. That's a pretty special quality and something we could certainly do with."

Anybody who's left us where we have equal respect etc...??
Anyone ???
Chris Heighington...
I was sort of thinking more recently...........

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Unread post by Tiger Come Lately » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 8:02 am

Glad we signed him, hope he delivers but I don't think he is a captain.

Not sure he needs that responsibility, not sure he has truely earnt the title. He has certainly turned things around but let's just hope he does the job for us.

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Unread post by Cultured Bogan » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 8:20 am

Fluff piece.

Can't see them looking past ET TBH.

If Rowdy regularly plays I'd like to see him be in the mix for captaincy too. He is captain material personified.
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Unread post by steve-o » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 9:45 am

I wouldn't be surprised if cleary opted for co-captains for a year to see what the in-season dynamic is like, and then appointed a sole captain for 2019.
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Unread post by jirskyr » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 10:25 am

Cleary makes an interesting few points on Reynolds.

Firstly not just that they signed him because he had certain qualities (qualities that our club lacks) but that they don't want him to be "Tigers-ified", they want him to continue doing what he does and bring the team with him.

Secondly, that most pundits agree on what Josh Reynolds is capable of and there is a broad respect for the way he plays football. It does have extra meaning when most fans can agree on the positives of a player, it says the reputation is accurate and well-earned.

I'm really keen on seeing him run onto the field for us, just to have someone show that pure positive passion for his side. So many of our players have been talented but did not have that competitive aura. I'm thinking particularly about blokes who've lacked real physical advantages but were just so competitive - Darren Senter, Hodgo, Buckets.

I think that's what rubbed some people the wrong way about Woods, that the guy obviously cared for his team but they couldn't see his leadership on the field outside of his normal duties as a prop, even if he is one of the better props. And there is a difference between doing well in your position vs doing things outside your role for the benefit of the team.

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Unread post by TigerTiger » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 11:28 am

jirskyr wrote:
Thu 09 Nov, 2017 10:25 am
Cleary makes an interesting few points on Reynolds.

Firstly not just that they signed him because he had certain qualities (qualities that our club lacks) but that they don't want him to be "Tigers-ified", they want him to continue doing what he does and bring the team with him.

Secondly, that most pundits agree on what Josh Reynolds is capable of and there is a broad respect for the way he plays football. It does have extra meaning when most fans can agree on the positives of a player, it says the reputation is accurate and well-earned.

I'm really keen on seeing him run onto the field for us, just to have someone show that pure positive passion for his side. So many of our players have been talented but did not have that competitive aura. I'm thinking particularly about blokes who've lacked real physical advantages but were just so competitive - Darren Senter, Hodgo, Buckets.

I think that's what rubbed some people the wrong way about Woods, that the guy obviously cared for his team but they couldn't see his leadership on the field outside of his normal duties as a prop, even if he is one of the better props. And there is a difference between doing well in your position vs doing things outside your role for the benefit of the team.
Well said jirksyr.

And that ^ is why Reynolds would make a good captain or co-captain.
But we have a few options, and I am more than happy to go with whoever Cleary decides. Reynolds will have a leadership role whether he is captain/ co-captain or not.

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