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Wests Tigers confirm Cleary as NRL coach

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/04/2017 Steve Zemek and Matt Encarnacion

Ivan Cleary has been announced as Wests Tigers' new coach after signing a three-and-a-half year deal with the NRL club.

Cleary will take control of the strife-torn joint-venture club immediately and will be in charge for Saturday's clash with North Queensland in Townsville.

His appointment follows the sacking of Jason Taylor just three weeks into the new season, the 46-year-old tasked with returning the Tigers to the finals for the first time since 2011.

The former Penrith and Warriors mentor becomes the club's fifth head coach in as many years.

Cleary faces a tough challenge to resuscitate the Tigers, who sit last on the ladder with just one win from five games.

He took the Warriors to the grand final in 2011 and returned the Panthers to the finals for the first time in four years in 2014 before being sacked the following season.

His arrival means the focus will switch to the team's plethora of off-contract players, including high-profile names in skipper Aaron Woods and fullback James Tedesco.

Halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks are also without a deal beyond this season, as are first-grade regulars Kevin Naiqama, David Nofoaluma, Ava Seumanufagai and Tim Grant.

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