You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Woods, Tedesco our priority: Wests Tigers

NZN 4/04/2017 Scott Bailey

Luke Brooks is set to remain at Wests Tigers for the next two NRL seasons, but he may not have fellow half Mitchell Moses by his side.

Just three days in to new coach Ivan Cleary's tenure at the Tigers, Moses has been denied a request for an immediate release to join Parramatta.

It's understood each of the Tigers so-called big four were offered contracts endorsed by new coach Cleary last Friday, in a bid to settle the long-standing instability at the club.

Wests Tigers issued a statement late on Wednesday evening hoping to clarify their current ambitions.

"Due to the current uncertainty surrounding the salary cap for 2018 and beyond the club has decided to prioritise the re-signings of captain Aaron Woods and James Tedesco," they said in a statement.

"As a result the current contract offer that was with Moses' management was taken off the table by Wests Tigers.

"After being made aware of this decision Moses' management requested an immediate release from the remainder of Moses' current contract; this request was denied by Wests Tigers.

"This decision was purely made due to the current uncertainty surrounding the salary cap, with the club not willing to put itself in a risky position for 2018 and beyond.

"The club informed Moses' management that it would be willing to revisit negotiations once the 2018 salary cap figure was confirmed."

Brooks, not mentioned at all in the statement, has reportedly agreed to terms on a deal that will keep him at the club until 2019, according to Fairfax Media.

The Tigers are yet to confirm the news but AAP understands the negotiations are moving in an extremely positive direction.

Earlier on Wednesday, Tigers players had hoped the potential of Brooks' signature would bring some much-needed stability to the last-placed outfit.

"Like any club when players are off-contract it at some point becomes a distraction," centre Chris Lawrence said.

"As soon as they can finalise whatever they are going to do, it's going to be best for the team so we can move forward and play some footy."

Tigers prop Tim Grant said any positive signing confirmation would "ease the white noise" surrounding the club.

"With Ivan coming to the club that would be stability as well," Grant said.

"It removes an element of excuse for the playing group, and there's no time for that anymore."

Grant knows Cleary better than most in the current Tigers squad, having played under him at Penrith.

He said Brooks need look no further than Cleary's son, Nathan, as an example of the influence the coach could have on a young half.

"I remember him as a kid, 13, 14-year-old when Ivan first got to Penrith," Grant said of Nathan Cleary.

"He was forever out on the training field kicking goals and that sort of stuff and Ivan was out there with him.

"I'm not sure if that was a father-son muck-around thing or he was giving him a few points, but to me Nathan Cleary is the ultimate professional and he plays beyond his years.

"Hopefully that rubs off on some of the young halves here at the Tigers."

The Tigers were one of two clubs to indicate their interest in Sydney-bound Queensland State of Origin halfback Cooper Cronk on Tuesday.

However, Cronk says he was unlikely to make a call on his future for at least another two months.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon