Isaiah Papali’i has drawn a considerable dose of empathy amid his contract shambles because of Michael Maguire’s axing.
The hesitant thoughts of the Parramatta back-rower are reasonable, many believe, because he signed a deal with Wests Tigers thinking Maguire would be his coach.
Billy Slater doesn’t buy that argument.
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« If you sign with a club, go to the club, » Slater said on Nine’s post-match coverage of the Rabbitohs’ defeat of the Eels.
« You’re signing with a club. You’re not signing with a coach, you’re not signing with a player — you’re signing with a club. Go to the club.
« You’re not allowed to walk away from a contract. It’s just pressure, public pressure if you want out.
« If you sign with a club, you want to take that money and you sign the deal, go to the club. »
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Star considers backflip on Tigers
Papali’i penned a three-year deal with Wests Tigers in November 2021, tying him to the joint-venture club from the 2023 season.
But the New Zealand international’s commitment to the contract has waned, with the 23-year-old revealing this week he’ll decide on his future at the end of the season.
A common belief is Papali’i’s second thoughts were triggered by Maguire copping the boot in June.
« You sign with the jersey, the club, » Brad Fittler said.
« I can’t believe (in these) contracts they’re able to walk away. »
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