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Gould warns Cleary about Tigers NRL job

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017 Laine Clark

He still believes Ivan Cleary is perfect for the vacant Wests Tigers job but Phil Gould has questioned the wisdom of the move.

Cleary remains a front runner for the Tigers gig after the NRL club sensationally sacked Jason Taylor after just three rounds.

A decision is reportedly expected in a week.

Penrith boss Gould believed Cleary was an ideal choice for the Tigers after earning a reputation for rebuilding teams at the Panthers and the Warriors.

However, Gould said he would baulk at joining the joint venture.

A question mark remains over the future of the Tigers' "Big Four" - off contract captain Aaron Woods and fellow stars Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses and James Tedesco.

And Gould said the Tigers' poor form - both in the NRL and lower grades - was another big turn off.

"If I'm Ivan Cleary, I don't know that Wests Tigers is my No.1 choice," Gould said on his 'Six Tackles with Gus' podcast for Nine Network's Wide World of Sports.

"A rebuild is a really hard job.

"If he looks at that, they haven't got those four blokes (Woods, Tedesco, Moses, Brooks) on contract, their lower grades are going poorly, the NRL team itself is going poorly...what upside is there?

"Ivan's got to be very particular that the next job he does is a successful one."

Cleary has also been linked to the Bulldogs post after scrutiny intensified on off contract mentor Des Hasler in the wake of last round's 36-0 loss to Manly.

But Cleary is expected to get the nod at the joint venture where he would be reunited with Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe - the ex-Penrith chief.

Cleary will reportedly be offered a three-and-a-half-year deal.

Gould knows first hand what Cleary offers.

The Penrith boss poached Cleary from the Warriors in 2012 to rebuild the Panthers but sacked him by 2015, citing burnout and fatigue as reasons.

Gould said Wests Tigers were a great fit for Cleary but wondered if it was the case for the ex-Penrith coach.

"I'm sure he can improve them (the Tigers) but does he improve them to the extent where they become competitive in this competition?" Gould said.

"Ivan's got something to weigh up and if there are other options out there, he's probably wise to consider them all."

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