Wests Tigers halfback Robert Lui is in line to become the latest player squeezed out of Concord after being linked to a return home to North Queensland.
Despite being on a contract worth $200,000 for next season, The Sunday Telegraph has learned the Tigers are considering releasing Lui as they continue to restructure their playing roster.
The Lui development comes two months after the Tigers were forced to confront major internal issues when a number of senior players were told they were free to look for alternative clubs for 2012.
Senior stars Chris Heighington, Beau Ryan and Liam Fulton were all tapped on the shoulder before sorting things out to remain at the Tigers, while utility back Tim Moltzen (St George Illawarra), props Andrew Fifita and Bryce Gibbs (Cronulla) and fullback Wade McKinnon (Hull) were allowed to leave.
Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys tried to hose down talk of Lui leaving, but The Sunday Telegraph has been assured the move has been discussed.
“He’s under contract for next year and that’s what we expect to be honoured,” Humphreys said.
“There’s been no official conversations and I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
If Lui does leave, the halfback would become the fifth high-profile Tiger to be granted an early release in the past three months.
In the same time frame, the Tigers have signed Melbourne Storm forward Adam Blair, Eels centre Joel Reddy and Penrith prop Matthew Bell as part of a major overhaul.