Wests Tigers Chairman Claims They Can Poach Payne Haas

Ben H / 21 July 2023

The Wests Tigers might be rock-bottom in the NRL standings, but that hasn’t stopped their chairman Lee Hagipantelis from dreaming big. Hagipantelis told The Courier Mail that the Wests Tigers “had the money for a player of Payne Haas’ calibre.”

He went on to say that Haas’ name “would be floated” at their committee meetings and that “it would be naïve to think” that such a high-profile player would not be on their radar internally.

Hagipantelis distanced himself from the process of deciding which player would be shortlisted for an inbound transfer, saying he didn’t take part in “discussions at that level.” However, he added that he would be really surprised if Payne Haas wasn’t discussed as a potential addition to the Wests Tigers roster.

Most Big-Name Players Stay Loyal

Hagipantelis recently described the club’s current plight as embarrassing and added that he couldn’t guarantee Justin Pascoe will remain Wests Tigers CEO next season. So, going for Payne Haas in the open market might be a way for Hagipanetlis to distract the club’s disgruntled fanbase.

The Wests Tigers chairman also said that most “big-name players” test the market so that they get a better offer from their existing club. Hagipantelis noted that most of these marquee players stayed loyal and listed Mitchell Moses, Kalyn Ponga, Cameron Munster, and Shaun Johnson as examples.

The outspoken Wests Tigers chairman said that whatever happened, the final decision on whether the club would go for Payne Haas in the market will be made by head coach Tim Sheens and future coach Benji Marshall.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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