Wests Tigers, coach, Cameron Ciraldo, Tim Sheens, updates, news, Todd Payten, North Queensland Cowboys


The Wests Tigers are no closer to locking down Michael Maguire’s replacement after confirmation that Cameron Ciraldo had turned down the club on Saturday afternoon.

Ciraldo was reportedly offered a lucrative five-year deal to get him away from the Penrith Panthers, but even that wasn’t enough to land the Tigers’ No.1 pick.

He left the club with a ‘harsh reality’, even though Fox League James Hooper says there’s a bright light for Tigers fans.

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“It’s not a good sign for the club, but the only thing that restores your faith is the fact that someone like Tim Sheens is involved, has control of the steering wheel and has a hell of a football IQ and runs on the pitch. chart in terms of being able to undo damage like the one the Wests Tigers are in,” he said on Triple-M.

Sheens will now have to make a tough call after missing Ciraldo, with Hooper revealing there could be a ‘left field’ option the Tigers are considering.

“I think now they’re going to start looking at candidates like John Morris, who was in Cronulla and has Tigers DNA, played under Tim Sheens and has ties there,” he said. .

“Then there will also be seasoned candidates like Shane Flanagan and Paul Green, who will also be considered.

“The other left field suggestion and I think she has legs is Todd Payten in North Queensland.”


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Ciraldo turned down the Tigers job. Image: NRL PhotosSource: Supplied

It’s hard to imagine Payten actually agreeing to a deal with the Tigers given how well the Cowboys are traveling in his second year at the helm.

He is also under contract at North Queensland until the end of next year.

Hooper said the same thing, but thinks that won’t stop the Tigers from at least trying to see if it’s a possibility.

“He won a premiership under Tim Sheens at the Wests Tigers, he’s already been involved as an assistant coach at the club and he’s got a lot of DNA there,” Hooper said.

“I think if Tim Sheens could have his pick on the board and was able to get his hands on whoever he wanted, I have no doubt that Todd Payten would be at the top of his wish list.”

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Co-host and rugby league journalist Ben Dobbin wondered how realistic it would be for the Tigers to pursue Payten, especially as it could disrupt North Queensland’s final push.

“Would he leave anyway?” asked Dobbin.

“With the success he has this year I read that this morning and that was my question there continues to be whispers that Todd Payten is wanted but with what he is creating in North Queensland , you should think there’s no way the Cowboys let him go.

Would Payten even play the part? NRL PhotosSource: Supplied

Hooper said the Cowboys “would be crazy” to let Payten go, but added that it wasn’t completely off the mark, pointing to Ivan Cleary’s exit from the Tigers.

“That’s what happened when Ivan Cleary signed to return to Penrith,” he said.

“He still had a year and a half to run to the Wests Tigers when the Panthers approached him, but the way he was able to negotiate an exit was that Penrith paid the Tigers a transfer fee, which was around $250,000.”

Of course, Cleary was leaving a declining Tigers team for a rising Panthers team — quite the opposite of the situation Payten faced if he even had such an idea.

And even still, as James Graham pointed out, the fact that the Tigers made it so clear that Ciraldo was their first-choice candidate wouldn’t necessarily sit well with other targets.

“It’s bad news for everyone involved with the Tigers, the fact that they were so involved in public with their No. 1 pick and now it makes me think, whoever gets the job, they’re going to be well aware because they weren’t their first choice,” he said.


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