Brad Fittler is shocked that Wests couldn’t find a spot for Ryan Papenhuyzen at the club, stating the Tigers "got it wrong" on several decisions in recent years, per The Sydney Morning Herald.
Papenhuyzen, Josh Addo-Carr and James Tedesco will all come together for the first time as Blues players under Fittler on Thursday, having all departed Leichhardt in recent years.
Wests Tiger fans get constantly reminded about stars that got away, with some decisions the club have made in recent years amongst the worst.
Nine years without playing finals football and their Origin representative, Harry Grant, was on loan from the Storm.
Papenhuyzen was at Balmain before the 22-year-old chased his NRL dream with the Storm as Billy Slater was coming to the end of his career.
"I was disillusioned when the Wests Tigers couldn't find a spot for him," Fittler said of Papenhuyzen.
"There were a few [decisions] there where whatever they did during that period, it was just wrong.
"So someone got it wrong, whoever it was, and I don't care.
"He [Papenhuyzen] has been awesome. Before the grand final I asked him, 'Mate, how are you going to get your speed in with it being so wet?'
"And he just said, 'I’ll find a way'. And when he took off for that [second-half] try … he found a way."
Tedesco and Papenhuyzen both exited the club in 2017 and went on to win premiership silverware.
"I think that's happened a lot," said Tedesco, when asked about good players departing Concord. "Josh Addo-Carr has also won a few premierships now. But what can you do?"
Addo-Carr started at the Tigers but, like Papenhuyzen, left for Melbourne where he has won two titles.
The Tigers are now wanting to bring back Addo-Carr, who is hoping for a return home.
Addo-Carr said after the grand final he was bound for Sydney in 2021, but "no other team is like Melbourne".
Papenhuyzen, who took out the Clive Churchill Medal on Sunday night, told the Herald he wouldn't have been half the player he is today if he didn't head to Melbourne.