Wests Tigers NRL coach Tim Sheens denies the club’s surprise decision to let Mitch Brown join Canterbury Bulldogs has left them short of fullback options.
Tom Humble and Tim Moltzen are the only specialist No.1’s at the Wests Tigers.
Humble, who played well after coming on to replace Tedesco, has just six first-grade appearances to his name from his spell at Parramatta.
Sheens has already earmarked Moltzen as his first-choice halfback this year following Robert Lui’s departure to North Queensland.
However, the veteran coach hit back at suggestions the loss of the versatile Brown, who played at fullback, centre and on the wing during his two-year spell with the club, will hinder his squad’s progress.
“I don’t think it has left us thin at all,” Sheens said on Wednesday.
“Joel Reddy can play there, Beau Ryan can play there. I have a few kids that I could put there, and I can always move Moltzen back there if I have to.”
Brown was furious at being overlooked by Sheens for the Tigers NRL season-opener at Leichhardt and demanded a move.
Tigers officials rubbished reports that a meeting with NRL salary cap chief Ian Schubert last Friday had anything to do with the decision to release Brown, and Orr revealed the club tried to get him to stay on Monday after Tedesco was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“There was some dialogue but, in Mitch’s mind, he was gone,” Orr said.
“He wanted to join the Bulldogs and try and secure a place in their starting line-up.”
“He wants to play regularly and is targeting a permanent spot at left centre and that’s what the Bulldogs can offer him.”
Canterbury coach Des Hasler is delighted to have secured the signing of Brown, and claimed the Tigers could rue letting him leave.
“He adds a bit of depth,” Hasler said on Wednesday.
“Last weekend showed you can’t have too much depth, as there were some long-term injuries to come out of the games.”
“Funnily enough, the Tigers would probably like Mitch Brown back now, but that is just the way it works out sometimes.”
by Buford Balony