Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter is confident his promising young side won’t be picked apart by cashed-up rivals despite the joint venture’s well publicised financial problems.
The Balmain Leagues Club, a financial contributor to the joint venture, was handed a stay of execution on Wednesday after a judge extended an injunction that prevents the club being placed into receivership.
Developers Rozelle Village had argued in the NSW Supreme Court that the club – which owes it millions – has committed breaches that would allow its creditors to appoint a receiver.
The two parties return to court on Friday, with the NRL and the Tigers both issuing statements guaranteeing the future of the club and that it will not relocate.
The Tigers possess some of the hottest young talent in the game including Luke Brooks, James Tedesco, Tim Simona, Curtis Sironen, Mitchell Moses, Marika Koroibete and David Nofoaluma.
Both Brooks and Moses are signed with the Tigers through 2017 but Tedesco, Simona, Sironen and Koroibete are all off contract at the end of the season, with Simona’s current deal with the club concluding next year.
Tedesco has already been strongly linked to Canterbury as a replacement for Ben Barba which has irked Tigers chief executive Grant Meyer but Potter said he didn’t believe his charges would begin looking elsewhere because of the club’s troubled financial position.
“I don’t see it as much of a distraction for those young guys,” Potter said at training on Thursday.
“I’m pretty confident (we are here to stay) and the NRL has backed the Wests Tigers to be here for a long time.
“And I don’t think someone like Luke Brooks is ever going to wonder what is happening.
“I think Luke, and I don’t want to talk on Luke’s behalf, but I think he would just shrug his shoulders and say ‘it’s got nothing to do with me’.
“He just wants to play footy, it is not too much of an issue for him.
“He is a young kid who wants to enjoy himself and just get out there and play football.”
The Tigers battled a staphylococcus scare ahead of their 44-24 round one loss to St George Illawarra before rebounding strongly last week with a record 42-12 thumping of the Gold Coast.
Captain Robbie Farah said Balmain’s precipitous financial plight was not an issue for him or his teammates ahead of their round three clash with South Sydney on Friday.
“Its not distracting at all,” he said.
“Its not for us players to worry about. Our job is to go out there and play football and our CEO and the board can take care of everything else.
“There is no need to reassure us, we know everything is fine.
“We are not CEOs, we are not board members, we were not at the courts listening to the case.
“We are just excited about tomorrow night, it is a great challenge.”