Wests Tigers recruitment came under fire after the club agreed to let $750,000 signing Tyrone Peachey negotiate with rivals for six months into a two-year deal.
Peachey made just eight games for the Tigers after falling down the pecking order and the club are trying to relieve him midway through his first season with Concord.
Paul Kent believes that Peachey’s U-turn is just another example of the Tigers’ woeful recruiting and retention program.
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“I don’t want to make it a recurring theme, but today’s Tigers have given Tyrone Peachey permission to look elsewhere,” Kent said on NRL 360.
“This is a man who hasn’t even been on his first contract with Wests Tigers for a year.
“They paid him well. They were basically bidding against themselves to sign him.
“They paid a lot more than any other club was willing to pay to sign him and 15 games into it they dropped him in reserve rank and said, mate, it’s time to go out and look around.”
“He was also made one of their captains,” Braith Anasta added.
“And he was put in the leadership group, like come on,” Kent said.
However, Phil Rothfield argued that the blame for Peachey’s signing should lie with Michael Maguire and not the current administration, which angered Kent and James Hooper.
“Kenty, the old coach Madge signed him,” Rothfield said.
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“You’re blaming the club Buzz,” Kent said.
“What about the administration?” Hooper interrupted.
“At what point for the people who run that club . . . so it has nothing to do with the administration that they signed Tyrone Peachey?”
“The administration is struggling, I’ll give you that, but you can’t blame the administration for cramming this signature,” Rothfield replied.
Kent pointed out that Sheens admitted a few weeks ago that Maguire was part of a recruitment and retention committee at the Tigers.
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“Buzz Michael Maguire was part of a retention commission,” Kent said.
“They recruited by committee.
“The point is, this is just another example of the Tigers’ poor recruitment.
“They have a history of poor recruiting.
“They have less than a year in this deal as a club” [decided to let him go]†
Hooper revealed that the Tigers paid $750,000 for Peachey over two years and that the club earned their share of the debt for signing that deal.
“He’s played eight games for them,” Hooper said.
The Tigers administration has approved the deal. $300,000 this year and $350,000 next year.
“That’s on them Buzz.”
However, Rothfield believes the next coach will benefit from the Tigers’ decision to fire overpaid and underperforming players.
“Who is going to coach them now? We don’t know,” Rothfield said.
“What we do know is that the coach comes in with Luciano Leilua’s money and Tyrone Peachey’s money.”
“Hold on, they need to move Peachey, mate, who’s going to get him?” Hooper interrupted.
“Well, that could be a struggle, but I applaud them for offering it,” Rothfield said.
“The problem is not offering it, the problem is capturing it in the first place,” said Kent.
“Where’s the due diligence?”
“Why don’t you ask Madge who signed all these players?” replied Rothfield.
Kent went out of his way to point out that there are other people at the club who have agreed to Peachey’s signing and other recruiting decisions.
“It’s not just Madge that’s my point,” Kent said.
“The way it’s being told is that Madge didn’t get everyone he wanted to sign, but he never got anyone he didn’t want to sign.
“That means there were other people and the club has talked about that. There are other people involved in recruiting and retaining players.”
However, Rothfield believes the club deserves credit for the two-star recruitment for 2023, which failed to impress Kent and Hooper given their poor track record in recent years.
“You have to wrap their recruiting,” Rothfield said.
“They have Api Koroisau on the way. They have Isaiah Papali’i on the way.”
“Come on buddy, even a broken clock is right twice a day,” Kent said.
“They’re in need of a wrap after seven years of unmitigated disaster,” Hooper said.
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