Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary talks with Moses Mbye on Wednesday. Picture: Brett Costello
Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary talks with Moses Mbye on Wednesday. Picture: Brett Costello

Tigers eye huge compensation as Cleary addresses players

THE Wests Tigers are planning to extract every penny they can out of the Panthers.

The embattled NRL club has called an extraordinary board meeting for Wednesday night, with the future of NRL coach Ivan Cleary likely to be discussed.

Cleary has been widely tipped to request a release from the final two years of his contract to make a stunning return to Penrith, three years after being sacked from the club.

NRL.com reports the Tigers will seek major compensation from the Panthers, possibly including players, for them to consider letting Cleary walk from Concord.

As it stands, Cleary has yet to officially ask for a release.

And on Tuesday, Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe emphatically ruled out the possibility of releasing Cleary.

Before Wednesday's training session, 47-year-old Cleary addressed his playing group regarding the recent developments but declined to talk to media.

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary with his players at training following the news the Panthers are trying to lure him back to the club. Picture: Brett Costello
Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary with his players at training following the news the Panthers are trying to lure him back to the club. Picture: Brett Costello

A move back to Penrith would allow Cleary to link with son Nathan, whose future is seen as the centre of the club's desire to lure their former coach back to the foot of the mountains.

Nathan, 20, had been expected to unite with his father at the Tigers when his current contract expires at the end of next season.

But the pair could now form the first father-son combination in the NRL era and the first since Martin and John Lang joined forces, ironically at Penrith in 2004.

The development came after Nathan expressed a desire to bring a premiership to Penrith.

Speaking before Anthony Griffin's sacking this week, Nathan revealed how his major motivation was to claim a title alongside his long-time teammates.

Nathan is one of nearly 10 Panthers first-grade players who were part of their under-20s side that won a title in 2015.

"My No.1 priority is to bring a premiership back to Penrith at the moment," the Penrith halfback told AAP after Sunday's win over Canberra.

"I'd love to win a comp with this team, that's contract or no contract."

He reiterated he wouldn't begin thinking about his future until after the season as he focused on playing deep into the finals.

"I absolutely love playing with these boys. I've come through with a lot of them and that's what makes it even more special," Nathan said.

"All of us shared the same dream of playing NRL and now that we're playing NRL together we all share the same dream of winning the comp.

"That's honestly what's driving me at the moment and I really want to do that."



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