Adam Blair Set To Join Wests Tigers
The Wests Tigers are set announce that they have secured the services of Melbourne Storm forward Adam Blair on an estimated $2 million deal.
Blair, who is currently the vice-captain of the New Zealand test team, will join Kiwi test skipper Benji Marshall for the next four years.
It is believed that the Tigers identified Blair as a priority signing, leading them to cull a number of players which has led to rumours of a rift within the club.
In recent weeks Tim Moltzen, Andrew Fafita, Wade Mackinnon and Bryce Gibbs have all been told their services would not be required next year which has given rise to the rumours of player unrest.
However Tigers captain Robbie Farah has refuted claims of a divide within the group, saying that the Tigers were simply coming under pressure because of some recent poor performances.
“A lot of people are talking about player disharmony and things like that, but if that was the case people would see it in our defence. The way we’re defending at the moment is good,” Farah said.
“We’re obviously going to cop some criticism from the fans and the media, and we expect that. The way we’ve been playing I think we deserve some of it.
“Everyone at the club is disappointed at the moment, but we’re still confident we can do something in this competition.”
The rumours of player discord started when St George Illawarra announced the signing Tim Moltzen, who is a close friend and roommate of Tigers star Benji Marshall.
Marshall is rumoured to have confronted coach Tim Sheens about the decision to cut Moltzen, who still had a year to run on his contract.
The Tigers are also set to announce that Parramatta centre Joel Reddy will join the club next year. There have also been rumours that the Tigers were considering a big money play for Raiders and New South Wales fullback Josh Dugan, however Tigers Chief Stephen Humphrey’s has moved to hose down the speculation by informing the Raiders that no such move was on the cards.
Meanwhile the Sharks continue their efforts to rebuild their forward pack after Kade Snowden (Newcastle) and Luke Douglas (Gold Coast) confirmed they would be leaving the club at the end of the season.
The Sharks have already signed unwanted Tigers pair Andrew Fafita and Bryce Gibbs, but now they can now add three more forwards to their 2012 roster after Newcastle pair Isaac De Gois and Mark Taufua and Dragons Premiership player Jon Green confirmed they would be joining the club next year.
Isaac De Gois returns to the club he played for in the 2007 and 2008 seasons, while Green is returning to the Shire, after representing Cronulla in the lower grades before getting his start with the Dragons.
Both De Gois and Taufua have international experience with the pair representing Portugal and Samoa respectively.
“The new signings are a continuation of our efforts to build some depth in the playing ranks here at the Sharks. All are quality first grade players,” said Sharks coach Shane Flanagan.