Wests Tigers Aaron Woods, Farah, Taupau accept salary cap broom
JULY 31, 2015 12:00AM
Luke Brooks, left, and Mitchell Moses are two of the youngsters Wests Tigers are hoping t
Luke Brooks, left, and Mitchell Moses are two of the youngsters Wests Tigers are hoping to build a team around. Picture: Gregg Porteous.
Wests Tigers senior players Robbie Farah, Aaron Woods and Martin Taupau accept a clean-up of the playing roster needs to happen so the club can develop its rising stars.
What they won’t cop is the pressure they believe the outside world is applying to players like halves Mitch Moses and Luke Brooks, neither of whom has played 40 NRL games yet.
They do not like the fact “good mates” like Keith Galloway and Pat Richards are heading overseas. But they realise a salary cap broom is being put through the squad so a team can be built around the likes of Moses, Brooks, fullback James Tedesco and young hooker Manaia Cherrington.
“This club has always been known for developing good kids. We take pride in that,” Farah said.
“Luke and Mitch have been handed this role of directing the team around the park. We have a lot of time for them, a lot of patience, and they will make this club successful.
“Teddy out the back is only young as well, so with Manaia coming through this club has a bright future.”
It still doesn’t remove the mixed emotions Farah and other Tigers are feeling towards the exit of players. There are 15 off contract in November and that’s excluding the departures of Galloway (Leeds) and Richards (Catalans).
“You need to find that balance as well. You need to keep senior players here too as they’re important in the development process, the fabric of the club, the leadership,” Farah said. “With Patty and Keith, they had an opportunity to go overseas and look after themselves and they’ve done that. They’ll be missed.”
With the joint venture’s chairwoman, Marina Go, recently telling The Australian it would take three years for the club to emerge from a salary cap mess, it seems more players are going to be missed.
“That’s none of our business. That’s for (coach) JT (Jason Taylor) and the head office to worry about,” said Woods, who plays his 100th NRL game tonight when the Tigers face Melbourne at Leichhardt Oval.
“The good thing about JT is that he’s told us just to focus on footy and getting a few goals each week in games.
“I have no idea what’s been going on with players. I only found out Keith was leaving last Friday night,” Woods said.
Woods said he didn’t feel despondent about the group breaking up.
“It will be sad to see blokes leave, but we’ve got these young blokes pushing their way up into the squad.”
Taupau, who has played 63 NRL games, said he had no regrets about joining the Tigers last year from Canterbury in light of the salary cap issues. “For any club, sometimes you take a couple of steps backwards to go two or three forward,” Taupau said.
“But there is a bright future with all our young guys. The only way to gain experience is to play football. I have total faith in our young guys and in our coaches.”
Woods said fans should ease up on Brooks and Moses. “I remember a lot of people questioning (Brisbane’s) Ben Hunt. He came in as starting half after being a bench player. They put him under the microscope with comments and now look at him,” he said.