Mark Metcalfegetty

Fullback’s circus act no surprise for fans

RUGBY League fans should no longer be stunned or outraged by decisions players make about their futures.

Rising Wests Tigers star James Tedesco is the latest to perform a Ringling Brother contract backflip, reneging on a $1.9 million deal to play for the Canberra Raiders, who it seems not only can't keep good players, but can't buy one either.

If you believe reports, the 21-year-old (pictured), who was earmarked by the Raiders to replace Brisbane-bound fullback Anthony Milford, had a change of heart after speaking to club stalwart and Tigers captain Robbie Farah.

The fact Canberra missed out on Storm forward Kevin Procter and Panthers winger Josh Mansour no doubt also helped convince Tedesco that staying at the Tigers may be a better option.

The backflip is likely to cost him in the vicinity of $500,000 over four years.

The whole idea of contract wheeling and dealing during the season infuriates fans, and makes it tough on them to cheer for a player they know will be leaving the club to play for another side at the end of the season.

It's becoming more and more common for players to back out of deals, however, largely thanks to the NRL's Round 13 deadline rule.

Last year young Canberra forward Josh Papalii used the same rule to back out of a three-year deal after the Eels officially announced they'd signed him for 2014.

Tedesco's teammate Tim Moltzen also did the dirty on St George-Illawarra after agreeing to terms in 2012.

Earlier this year the

Canterbury Bulldogs pulled out of a reported $800,000-a-season contract offer to Cronulla forward Andrew Fifita.

The Kangaroos representative, who reportedly investigated his legal options, has since signed a $600,000-a-season deal to remain at the Sharks until 2018.

If the status quo remains, the merry-go-round will continue and as usual, the big losers remain the fans.


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