Wests Tigers’ Retention Challenge



  • DEAN RITCHIE, The Daily Telegraph
    November 14, 2016

    WESTS Tigers have been told they face the biggest retention challenge in 30 years as $6 million worth of playing talent heads for the open market.

    A total of 21 Wests Tigers players are off-contract after next season, including the Big Four — Aaron Woods, James Tedesco, Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses.

    Those four alone would cost the club around $3 million.


    James Tedesco headlines a massive list of off-contract Wests Tigers players. Picture: Gregg Porteous
    The Tigers haven’t endured such pressure to retain star players since Balmain kept Steve Roach, Ben Elias, Wayne Pearce, Paul Sironen and Garry Jack together in the mid to late 1980s.

    Question marks remain about how Brooks, Tedesco, Moses and Woods — and 17 others — were all allowed to come off contract at the same time.

    But the Tigers remain confident all four will remain at Concord despite some rival clubs thinking one star may be lost due to salary cap constraints and confusion.


    Mitchell Moses is another star the Wests Tigers are hoping to re-sign. Picture: Gregg Porteous
    “This is the club’s most significant challenge in 30 years,” Ben Elias said.

    “We had this problem with Pearce, Roach, Elias, Sironen and Jack back in the 1980s.

    “How did we keep them? It was the hardest thing ever. How (then Tigers secretary) Keith Barnes did it was an absolute miracle.


    Aaron Woods is among the Wests Tigers stars coming off-contract. Picture: Gregg Porteous
    “We all got offered massive money to go elsewhere.

    “I know Tedesco, Moses, Brooks and Woods are all very close. One will go with the other.

    “All four want to stay, absolutely. This will be about enjoying their football for the next six years. And they will enjoy a lot more by staying together than splitting.”

    Fellow Tigers great Steve Roach fears one or more players may walk away, leaving the club in “dire straits”.

    “I just can’t see how the club can keep all four and it’s the club’s own fault for letting them come off at the same time. It doesn’t make sense,” Roach said.

    “They will be all vying against each other for the coin. You can’t put four into a package deal.”

    Aside from the four big names, Tim Grant is off contract after next season, as is Tim Simona, Jamal Idris, David Nofoaluma, Kyle Lovett, Jordan Rankin and Kevin Naiqama.


    The Wests Tigers will be working to extended Luke Brooks’ contract. Picture: Mark Evans
    Club CEO Justin Pascoe is working overtime to secure his playing roster and believes players now want to be a part of the Tigers.

    “Our intent hasn’t changed — conversations are happening with player managers as we speak behind closed doors. Those conversations will continue and have been really positive,” Pascoe said.

    “We won’t drag it out through the media. We are not just about retaining players, we are also out there aggressively trying to attract players as well.”

    Their plight isn’t being helped by the NRL’s delay in announcing the new salary cap increase.

    “It certainly makes it mathematically challenging, not having an understanding of how much money we can spend on players,” Pascoe said.

    Roach added: “I’m a bit worried that if they lose a few of those players, the club will be in dire straits.”


  • ForumSupporter

    Benny and Block show concern…lol

    Newsflash…there are some 250 NRL players off contract…



  • I often wonder if Blocker ever thinks before he speaks. Trying to blame the current Admin for their current contracts expiring at the same time. Well done Block.



  • As far as the contracts go, i’m pretty comfortable. I think if need be, they may sacrifice Brooks, but from everything i have heard the 4 are all good chances at being retained. One of the main reasons i am comfortable is because of who is at the helm. I think Pascoe has brought this club together and provided harmony. He handles everything with class and professionalism, and makes you realise how far we have come from the CEO who would alienate supporters and insult them on Twitter. He’s earned the right to be taken at his word when he says things are looking positive.



  • @Geo.:

    Benny and Block show concern…lol

    Newsflash…there are some 250 NRL players off contract…

    I know!

    DT must be despo for NRL content at this time of year, they are just dredging up crap day in and out. Tigers are a particularly strong fancy right now, not exactly sure why, there is Four Nations they can be covering to fill the spaces. See SMH are doing just that, leaving the club stuff more or less alone and giving lots of coverage to the cricket.

    Bulldog is reaching excessively that Tigers “allowed” so much talent to come off contract at the same time. The new TV deal has caused this big market for all clubs - many players are holding off to see what happens with salary caps and expenditure.

    Looking around the comp a little, just as a comparison:

    Broncos players off contract 2017: Jai Arrow, Adam Blair, Joe Boyce, Darius Boyd, Mitchell Dodds, Salesi Funaki, Alex Glenn, Ben Hunt, Jordan Kahu, Benji Marshall, Andrew McCullough, Josh McGuire, David Mead, Anthony Milford, Francis Molo, Corey Oates, Joe Ofahengaue, Jonus Pearson, James Roberts, Marion Seve, Travis Waddell

    So their 1, 6, 7, 9, first-choice props and one of their starting backrowers all off contract.

    Cowboys players off contract 2017: John Asiata, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper, Kyle Feldt, Ben Hannant, Shaun Hudson, Corey Jensen, Patrick Kaufusi, Kyle Laybutt, Gideon Mosby-Gela, Kalyn Ponga, Matthew Scott, Ben Spina, Jason Taumalolo, Ray Thompson, Johnathan Thurston

    Game’s greatest half and greatest forward both off, game’s leading prop and two of the hottest young properties all off.

    Storm: Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Dean Britt, Will Chambers, Dale Finucane, Slade Griffin, Tohu Harris, Jeremy Hawkins, Ryley Jacks, Felise Kaufusi, Jordan McLean, Mark Nicholls, Billy Slater, Joe Stimson, Shem Tatupu, Suliasi Vunivalu, Christian Welch

    So that’s pretty much their starting forward pack bar Cam Smith.

    Sharks: Gerard Beale, Jack Bird, Jayden Brailey, Fa’amanu Brown, Kurt Capewell, Manaia Cherrington, Jordan Drew, Sosaia Feki, Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Chris Heighington, Valentine Holmes, Jeremy Latimore, Luke Lewis, Daniel Mortimer, Joseph Paulo, Matt Prior, Sam Tagataese, Chad Townsend, Tony Williams

    The bulk of their entire premier-ship winning squad?

    I think DT do this just to troll, to get under our skin.



  • Why deal in facts when sensationalism requires no research?



  • I reckon Teddy is the biggest chance to sign elsewhere, outside of that I feel the others will stay.

    Hasnt Woods already agreed to terms?


  • ForumSupporter

    @Tiger Watto:

    I reckon Teddy is the biggest chance to sign elsewhere, outside of that I feel the others will stay.

    Hasnt Woods already agreed to terms?

    Why do you reckon that…?



  • @Tiger Watto:

    I reckon Teddy is the biggest chance to sign elsewhere, outside of that I feel the others will stay.

    Hasnt Woods already agreed to terms?

    If we don’t look like we’re going to win a premiership in the next couple of years I’d wager he’ll go. He’ll command whatever money he wants and he’ll go wherever will offer the best chance at a premiership.

    I think we’ve all forgotten that he’s already signed elsewhere once before.



  • @Geo.:

    @Tiger Watto:

    I reckon Teddy is the biggest chance to sign elsewhere, outside of that I feel the others will stay.

    Hasnt Woods already agreed to terms?

    Why do you reckon that…?

    <big>BIG MONEY</big> on offer for him!



  • @Tiger Watto:

    I reckon Teddy is the biggest chance to sign elsewhere, outside of that I feel the others will stay.

    Hasnt Woods already agreed to terms?

    I don’t agree at all - I would expect him to be #1 signing priority at the expense of any other player on our roster, even several players combined.

    He is the Tim Brasher of this current side and there would be massive backlash amongst fans. Even amongst non-Tigers followers Tedesco is generally considered to be individually the best attacking fullback in the world right now.

    I would put Brooks as the biggest chance of leaving - just the general noise tells me he is lowest in the pecking order of the Top 4, but quality halfbacks are rare, so he’d easily pick up interest at other clubs if his price isn’t ridiculous.



  • I can’t see the club letting Tedesco go. I think they’d sacrifice the other 3 to keep him if they had too.



  • @jirskyr:

    @Tiger Watto:

    I reckon Teddy is the biggest chance to sign elsewhere, outside of that I feel the others will stay.

    Hasnt Woods already agreed to terms?

    I don’t agree at all - I would expect him to be #1 signing priority at the expense of any other player on our roster, even several players combined.

    He is the Tim Brasher of this current side and there would be massive backlash amongst fans. Even amongst non-Tigers followers Tedesco is generally considered to be individually the best attacking fullback in the world right now.

    I would put Brooks as the biggest chance of leaving - just the general noise tells me he is lowest in the pecking order of the Top 4, but quality halfbacks are rare, so he’d easily pick up interest at other clubs if his price isn’t ridiculous.

    Your emotions are running away with commonsense… Brooks will be the cheapest, therefore the easiest to sign. Woods & Brooks should be the first players the club attempts to secure.

    Teddy will be the dearest, and with 5-6 Clubs chasing him he is the most likely to leave. I’m sure Pascoe will leave no stone unturned and while he is every chance to stay, he is also the most likely to leave.



  • @GNR4LIFE:

    I can’t see the club letting Tedesco go. I think they’d sacrifice the other 3 to keep him if they had too.

    sacrafice 3 important players for 1?

    You just posted how smart Pascoe is!


  • ForumSupporter

    Since when was Rugby League based on common sense…

    He took less to stay after he back-flipped on Wicky…if it was just about Money he’d be wearing Green…


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