Wests prop Russell Packer is at the centre of the Tigers’ current list woes, with the 30-year-old leaving Brookvale Oval at halftime due to the weather potentially impacting his arthritis.
Both Packer and teammate Josh Reynolds left the match against Manly before the second term, with the Tigers fighting back to win 34-32 in a thriller.
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The pair have been told they can leave the club following their decision, with Tigers coach Michael Maguire already expecting to cull a long list of players by the end of the season.
Unlike Reynolds, Packer was named in Maguire’s 19-man side for the clash against the Sea Eagles, but reportedly left the game due to fears the cold weather could further damage his arthritic feet.
Tigers chairman told The Sydney Morning Herald, that ongoing operations had left the Kiwi international with arthritis and that he left Brookvale Oval in hope of preventing further damage to his feet.
“It’s not a good look for two of our players to leave at half time,” Hagipantelis said.
“Strictly speaking, they weren’t required to be there. Russell had to warm up with the team as 19th man but Josh didn’t even warm up with the team.
“Both players have acknowledged their action creates a perception, but perception is not reality.
“I have spoken to both of them and they’ve acknowledge it wasn’t a good look. There was no intention on their part to show disrespect or a lack of unity.
“Russell suffers from an arthritic condition and had multiple surgeries in his foot to try and help him play again. Sitting there in the cold does affect him, that is true.”
Hagipantelis did not offer any reason for Reynolds absence.
Packer and Reynolds are set to join veteran Benji Marshall in the departure lounge at Concord, with captain Moses Mbye also being rumoured to link up with the Titans for 2021.
Despite the ongoing frustrations with his playing list, Maguire is set to pen a new contract with the Tigers in the near future.