The Wests Tigers recruitment has come under fire after the club agreed to let $750,000 signing Tyrone Peachey negotiate with rivals six months into a two-year deal.
Peachey has played just eight games for the Tigers after falling down the pecking order and the club are trying to offload him halfway through his first season at Concord.
Paul Kent believes the Peachey U-turn is just another example of the Tigers’ woeful recruitment and retention program.
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“I don’t want to make this a recurring theme, but the Tigers today have given Tyrone Peachey permission to look elsewhere,” Kent said on NRL 360.
“This is a guy who is not even a year into his first contract at Wests Tigers.
“They paid him good money. They basically were bidding against themselves to sign him.
“They paid way over what any other club was prepared to pay to sign him and 15 games into it they have dropped him to reserve grade and said, mate it is time to go out and have a look around.”
“He was made one of their captains too,” Braith Anasta added.
“And he was put in the leadership group, like come on,” Kent said.
However, Phil Rothfield argued the blame for Peachey’s signing should be on Michael Maguire and not the current administration, which drew the ire of Kent and James Hooper.
“Kenty, the old coach Madge signed him,” Rothfield said.
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“You can’t blame Tim Sheens. You can’t blame Brett Kimmorley.”
“You blame the club Buzz,” Kent said.
“What about the administration?” Hooper interjected.
“At what point to the people running that club. . . so it has nothing to do with the administration that they signed Tyrone Peachey?”
“The administration is struggling I will give you that, but you can’t blame the administration for stuffing up this signing,” Rothfield replied.
Kent pointed out that Sheens only weeks ago admitted Maguire was part of a recruitment and retention committee at the Tigers.
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“Buzz Michael Maguire was part of a retention committee,” Kent said.
“They recruited by a committee.
“The point is this is just another example from the Tigers of bad recruitment.
“They have got a history of bad recruitment.
“Not even a year into this deal they have as a club [decided to let him go].”
Hooper revealed that the Tigers paid $750,000 for Peachey over two years and the club deserves their share of blame for signing off on that deal.
“He has played eight games for them,” Hooper said.
“The Tigers’ administration ticked off on 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 offload overpaid and underperforming players.
“Who is going to coach them next? We don’t know,” Rothfield said.
“What we do know is the coach is going to come in with Luciano Leilua’s money and with Tyrone Peachey’s money.”
“Hang on they have got to move Peachey mate, who is going to take him?” Hooper interjected.
“Well that might be a struggle, but I applaud them offering him out,” Rothfield said.
“The problem is not offering him out, the problem is signing him in the first place,” Kent said.
“Where is the due diligence?”
“Why don’t you ask Madge who signed all these players?” Rothfield replied.
Kent was at pains to point out that there are other people still at the club that agreed to the signing of Peachey and other recruitment decisions.
“It is not just Madge that’s my point,” Kent said.
“The way it gets told is 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 spoken about that. There are other people involved in the recruitment and retention of players.”
However, Rothfield believes the club deserves credit for the recruitment of two stars for 2023, which didn’t impress Kent and Hooper given their poor track record in recent years.
“You have got to give their recruitment a wrap,” Rothfield said.
“They do have Api Koroisau coming. They do have Isaiah Papali’i coming.”
“Come on mate, even a broken clock is right twice a day,” Kent said.
“They are due for a wrap after seven years of unmitigated disasters,” Hooper said.