Tigers pair Beau Ryan and Chris Heighington set to join Cron

I realise most people already know it’s official, but here’s an article. (And how good is the picture.)

Tigers pair Beau Ryan and Chris Heighington set to join Cronulla
Phil Rothfield
The Daily Telegraph
September 18, 2012 12:00AM

West Tigers second-rower Chris Heighington (L) and winger Beau Ryan are on their way out to join Cronulla Sharks. Source: The Daily Telegraph

THE crisis at the Wests Tigers deepened last night when glamour winger Beau Ryan walked out on the club to join the Cronulla Sharks, despite agreeing to stay 10 weeks ago.

His second-row teammate Chris Heighington is expected to join him in the shire within days, to bring the total of former Wests Tigers players in the Sharks line-up next season to five.

The Sharks refused to publicly confirm the signing last night because of delays in finalising the release of Kiwi second-rower Jeremy Smith to the Knights, which will free up the salary cap space for both players.

Rest assured it’s a done deal and will be formalised within 48 hours. Ryan could not be contacted last night but sources have revealed he has given his word to Sharks coach Shane Flanagan.

Remarkably, the Footy Show star told The Daily Telegraph 10 weeks ago he had agreed to a new three-year contract with the Tigers.

The deal was never actually signed off on.

“There was never a contract put in front of us,” his agent Wayne Beavis said last night. "I don’t know whose fault it is. Beau might have thought he was going to stay but we never signed anything.

“That’s just the way it has happened.”

His departure will have huge ramifications for the Tigers because of his tight friendship with players, in particular Benji Marshall and skipper Robbie Farah. He was also immensely popular with fans and had a cult following from The Footy Show.

Wests Tigers boss Steve Humphreys was taken by surprise when the story broke on leaguecentral.com.au yesterday afternoon.

“I can’t really say a lot,” Humphreys said last night. "We had an in-principal agreement with Beau but I’m not sure it’s going to be followed through.

“I’d prefer to have them both here next year. They are both very popular within the club and with our supporters and sponsors.”

Ryan recently played his 100th NRL game for the club and enjoyed his best season, proving his versatility by playing wing, centre and fullback, and was recently included in the Kangaroos train-on squad.

There were jokes doing the rounds last night that Cronulla would be known as the Tiger Sharks next season.

Ryan and Heighington will be joining former teammates Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Fifita and John Morris in the Cronulla jersey.

The signing is a huge coup for the Sharks, who have lacked speed and penetration in the three-quarter line for years.

Flanagan has now now recruited Michael Gordon, Johnathon Wright and Ryan, plus he will have the speedy Nathan Gardner back from injury.

After a disappointing season, Wests Tigers management is under huge pressure from fans to provide some answers.

The career of veteran coach Tim Sheens has been the subject of much speculation since the club failed to make the finals.

He did not return phone calls last night.

I can’t stand listening to how biased Phil rothfield is about cronulla!
He is worse than fatty and qld!

Posted using RoarFEED 2012

I’m a bit of a Beau Ryan fan but the below quote is a bit of a bold statement. I don’t see Beau adding a huge amount of speed and/or penetration. He’s a good honest toiler who puts a whole-hearted effort in regularly. He’s hardly Larry Corowa though…

The signing is a huge coup for the Sharks, who have lacked speed and penetration in the three-quarter line for years.

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