A lingering foot problem could force Wests Tigers prop Russell Packer into medical retirement despite still having two years to run on his deal, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The 30-year old will meet with medical experts on Wednesday in a bid to work out the root of his foot issue.

It is believed that he suffered the injury playing in the NSW Canterbury Cup in July. After undergoing surgery, Packer has not taken part in any running sessions and may never be able to play again.

His potential retirement could leave a big hole in the Wests Tigers' salary cap.

Packer is believed to be earning well over $700,000 a season, and while the Tigers have reportedly already paid him his wages of around $25,000 from November to February, he is still owed at least $1.2 million.

It leaves the Tigers in a similar position to what happened with Ben Matulino and the Rabbitohs with Sam Burgess.

The NRL could elect to wipe Packer's salary off the Tigers' books if he is forced to walk away from the game, as was the case with Burgess and Matulino.

Packer has plated 19 NRL games but has not appeared at the top level since round six last year.


  1. Not at all a 1.2 mil headache, it’s more like a 700k gift.
    Russell was not at all a big piece of this team and if they can clear him off the books it would be great in order to make some moves for other players.

    Considering they failed in their attempt to get Harry Grant via a swap maybe they should look at Micheal Lichaa who is not under any contract and would atleast give some more competition to the clubs hooking options.

    If Russell retires and clear 700k per year, I’d also chase either Christian Welch or Herman Ese’ese as his replacement and also throw Euan Aiken a cheap off to see if you can pick him up cheaply

  2. “Packer has played 19 NRL games” What? What about the NRL games he played with the Warriors & Dragons? He should have stayed at the Dragons after rebuilding his life whilst doing so under their culture. The other thing is why has this story only come into the media now?

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