The Wests Tigers have taken the unusual step of announcing five players will exit the club while three still remain unsigned for 2022.
The Tigers will lose Moses Mbye to the St George Illawarra Dragons, Billy Walters to the Brisbane Broncos and Russell Packer to retirement, however, after a dismal season which included a 38-0 pasting at the hands of wooden spooners the Canterbury Bulldogs yesterday and a bottom-four finish, Michael Chee-Kam and Joseph Leilua have both been released by the club.
Leilua is unlikely to be signed by an NRL club, with no reported interest to this stage after an underwhelming two-year stint at Concord. The big centre, who joined the Tigers ahead of 2020 as a prized recruit from the Canberra Raiders has fallen well off the pace, while brother Luciano has become one of the best back rowers in the competition after his departure from the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Mbye has been used in a variety of roles at the Tigers, but will be looking to reinvigorate a stalling career at the Dragons.
Chee-Kam has struggled for consistent game time this season after previously being a mainstay of the Tigers best 17, while Walters has played just ten games in Tigers' colours.
Intriguingly, youngster Zac Cini, development player William Kei and forward Tom Amone are yet to be re-signed by the club, but were not involved in today's announcement, suggesting there is still hope the Tigers will keep the trio.
Cini was part of yesterday's loss to the Bulldogs when he played fullback in first grade for the first time, however, he is touted as one of the brightest outside backs in the game.
The Tigers have signed Oliver Gildart and Jackson Hastings for 2022 from the English Super League, and are both signed on two-year deals, while Reece Hoffman is also likely to be promoted to the top 30.