26 Aug 2015

Farah told he faces reserve grade in 2016

3:58 pm on 26 August 2015

Wests Tigers have told their skipper Robbie Farah that he'll have to play reserve grade if he stays at the National Rugby League club next year.

Farah's been granted permission to look for another club, as they're trying to get rid of him amid salary cap issues.

Wests Tigers Robbie Farah with now former team-mate Benji Marshall playing against the NZ Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland on Sunday 12 June 2011. Photo: Simon Watts / photosport.co.nz

Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah, seen here with now-former team-mate Benji Marshall in 2011 Photo: Photosport

The 31-year-old's been at the Tigers since debuting in 2003.

The unwanted hooker expressed his disappointment in being informed by coach Jason Taylor he was free to play elsewhere in 2016.

But the 2005 Premiership-winning hooker said he won't leave without a fight.

"It has to be on my terms as well," Farah said.

However he conceded fans might have to watch him play at Henson Park next season should he decide to stay and serve the final two years of his current contract.

"Whether they mean it or not (playing reserve grade), I'm not too sure," he said. "Whether it's just trying to get me to go, I'm not too sure... But if I stay, I guess we'll find out."

Farah admitted he felt a tap on the shoulder was coming over the past few weeks due to the club's well-publicised salary cap issues.

But the New South Wales vice-captain said he was still dismayed at the announcement, which left him with little time to find a suitor with the available room in the salary cap.

One possible landing spot is with defending Premiers South Sydney, where brother Eddie works with the medical staff, and who are losing Kiwis hooker Issac Luke to the New Zealand Warriors.

"South Sydney is a great club, great history, they're Premiers at the moment. A massive club with a great roster," Farah said.

"I won't rule anything out at the moment, but it's disrespectful for me to be talking about other clubs at the moment while I'm wearing the Wests Tigers colours."

Coach Taylor also fronted the media in an awkward interview, repeating the club's official line on the matter a total nine times.

"What the position of the club is at this stage is that we've given Robbie permission to negotiate with other clubs," he said.

"Basically that's all we've got to say about it. We'll talk about it again when something develops."

Asked whether he had told Farah he would be playing New South Wales Cup next year, Taylor said: "So the position of the club is that we'll talk more about it once something develops more."

Farah, who plays his final home game against the Warriors at Campbelltown on Sunday before finishing the season against St George-Illawarra at ANZ Stadium, said he was heartbroken to have been denied a farewell at Leichhardt.

"Actually, that's one of the biggest things I'm disappointed about," he said.

"I love that place so much. Not to have one last game there and a farewell to the fans is a dagger in my heart. That's what probably hurt me a lot.

"But it is what it is. I'm not the first person, I won't be the last. I've just got to get on with it."