The bloodletting continues at Wests Tigers after the club parted company with National Youth Competition coach Brett Kimmorley.
Kimmorley is part of an exodus that includes NSW Cup coach Paul Fletcher, assistant coach Matt Cameron at least a dozen players in biggest clean-out in the joint-venture club’s history. Kimmorley, who played 22 Tests for Australia (including two Super League internationals) and made 10 appearances for the Blues, was considered the ideal tutor to the promising youngsters coming through the ranks. However, he lasted just one season and was a notable absentee at the Tigers’ annual grand final luncheon, opting to instead attend a reunion of Newcastle’s 1995 NSW reserve grade side.
Gone: Coaching staff member Brett Kimmorley has joined the exodus from the Wests Tigers.
Gone: Coaching staff member Brett Kimmorley has joined the exodus from the Wests Tigers. Photo: Alicia Sylvester
Head coach Jason Taylor is set to appoint his former Parramatta teammate Paul Stringer into one of the roles, but there is yet to be an announcement on next year’s captain following the stand-off with Robbie Farah.
The Tigers are turning over a large percentage of their playing roster, with departees including Keith Galloway, Pat Richards, Matthew Lodge, Keith Lulia, Joel Luani, Kurtis Rowe, Sitaleki Akauola, Brendan Santi, Te Maire Martin, Shannon McDonnell and Jack Buchanan. Several other contracted players, including centre Chris Lawrence, have been told they are free to negotiate with other clubs.
But the most controversial omission from next year’s NRL squad is Farah, who has been told he will be playing reserve grade if he isn’t able to find a new home for 2016. The veteran hooker is contracted for the next two seasons and is taking up the best part of $2million during that period. However, he has fallen out with Taylor and the feud was the elephant in the room at Thursday’s function at Doltone House. Farah’s partner for the event was long-time manager Sam Ayoub, with the pair not engaging with Taylor during the five-hour function. Farah has indicated that he will dig his heels in, with the club obligated to pay out his contract if he doesn’t leave. There was no official mention of the war as officials handed out awards, but was still the major talking point for the 600 guests.
James Tedesco took out the player’s player gong after an outstanding year that netted him 17 tries in 24 appearances. The fullback, who controversially opted against fulfilling a lucrative contract he had signed to play with Canberra to stay at the joint-venture club, also took out the members’ player of the year award.
The event also recognised the induction of two more Wests Tigers life members in Tim Sheens and Brett Hodgson – with the 2005 premiership winners joining Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall, Mark O’Neill and John Skandalis on the illustrious list. Sheens coached the Tigers for 10 seasons, including the 2005 grand final victory, while Hodgson broke numerous club records during his 102-game career stint. Kyle Lovett, who made 21 first-grade appearances, was named the NRL rookie of the year.
Taylor said the Tigers were heading in the right direction.
“Across the team, we had enormous improvement in terms of the experience our guys got,” Taylor said.
The event was the first public appearance for new chief executive Justin Pascoe, who shifted from Penrith to replace Grant Mayer.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/wests-tiger-nyc-coach-brett-kimmorley-joins-exodus-from-club-20151002-gk08na.html#ixzz3nPuED8h3
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