Panthers make decision on coach for 2019
WITH the Panthers still determined to snare Ivan Cleary once his contract runs its course with the Tigers, the club has reportedly agreed to appoint Cameron Ciraldo as coach for at least the 2019 season.
NRL.com has exclusively revealed on Wednesday that the board has signed off on Ciraldo, all but resigned to the fact Cleary will honour his contract with Wests and stay at Concord until the end of 2020.
If Cleary was to split with the Tigers, it is understood Ciraldo would step aside.
But Fairfax Media has also reported that Cleary is currently in talks with the Panthers with an eye on 2021.
Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe has reaffirmed the club's position that Cleary will not be released from his remaining two years.
"I don't know how many different ways I can say this, but Ivan has a contract here until the end of 2020," he said.
It follows news that the ink has almost dried on a contract extension for Nathan Cleary, which would see the NSW Blues half stay at the foot of the mountains until the end of the 2023 season.
Ciraldo did a commendable job as caretaker coach, stepping up from assistant in August to guide the Panthers to the second week of the finals.