‘We did all the pieces to maintain Jack,’ says ‘damage’ Ricky

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart says they did all the pieces attainable to maintain Jack Wighton (pic) in Canberra. (Scott Radford-Chisholm/AAP PHOTOS)

By Alex Mitchell in Canberra

RICKY Stuart admits he’s hurting after star Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton opted to go away the nation’s capital for South Sydney, lashing the NRL’s “flawed” contracting system within the course of.

The Raiders boss confirmed Wighton had informed the membership on Tuesday he’d depart at season’s finish, the Dally M and Clive Churchill medallist opting to hyperlink up with distant cousin Latrell Mitchell and chase a premiership with the Rabbitohs.

Souths made Wighton’s signing official late on Wednesday afternoon.

His impending transfer leaves a gaping gap in the course of Canberra’s backbone with the 225-game Raider a stalwart in his 15-year tenure on the membership.

“I need to reassure you all that the membership did all the pieces attainable to maintain Jack on the Raiders and we needed nothing greater than to see him attain 300 video games and grow to be a one-club participant,” Stuart mentioned in a press release.

“I need to let our loyal members and followers know that I bleed inexperienced as a lot as you do, and as a lot because it hurts at the moment, our future remains to be forward of us, and we’ll proceed on the trail we greatest see match to provide this membership the success it deserves.

“I personally gained’t relaxation in my drive to make this membership profitable for you.”

Canberra reportedly supplied Wighton $4.4 million over 4 years to remain on the membership, just for him to take considerably much less cash to shift to South Sydney.

That’s led to Raiders officers reportedly lodging a proper grievance with the NRL to make sure third-party preparations do not make up the distinction.

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NRL CEO Andrew Abdo mentioned the league hadn’t but acquired Wighton’s contract however would comply with commonplace processes after they get it.

“When the wage cap auditor receives it they’ll do what they do for each contract, which is verify it in opposition to the cap, verify it for market reasonability after which present any suggestions if there must be an adjustment,” he informed AAP.

However Stuart took extra of a problem with the timing of the negotiations, believing holding contract talks and seeing a participant announce a transfer mid-season was “flawed”.

“It’s not truthful to (the followers) who I see as our main stakeholders, the membership, and as importantly the gamers,” he mentioned.

“I do know it will have been exhausting for you, our Raiders followers, as a result of I do know what the sensation was like for me, to see a picture of Jack in a (digitally-altered Souths jersey) on the again web page of a Sydney paper at the moment.”

For the Rabbitohs, they’ll must shuffle their again line to suit their recruit within the centres, with hypothesis Isaiah Tass may shift to a wing to make manner.

Hooker Damien Cook dinner mentioned Wighton becoming a member of to provide himself the most effective probability of successful a premiership was a vote of confidence within the membership.

“(We may) transfer a number of boys across the again line there, which is clearly a tough one in the intervening time too, as a result of each our centres (Tass and Campbell Graham) are taking part in actually good soccer,” he informed Sky Radio.

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“All of us imagine we are able to win the comp… for him to choose us and say that’s the place he thinks is his greatest probability, understanding quite a lot of golf equipment would have been after him, that’s an enormous hit of confidence for us as a staff.”

Raiders shock: Wighton indicators with South Sydney

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Ian Meikle, editor