Incoming Wests Tigers hooker Matt Ballin reportedly called Robbie Farah to clear the air before the joint-venture club could announce the ex-Manly star’s arrival at Concord.
Ballin, who found himself in a remarkably similar position to Farah when he was shown the door by the Sea Eagles in August, said he thought the former captain deserved a courtesy call.
“I would’ve liked to have talked to him (Farah) a lot earlier, but it just wasn’t possible,” Ballin told News Corp Australia. “So I called him before the Tigers announced (on Tuesday). We had a really good chat.
“I just thought he deserved the respect from me to call him and, I guess, let him say what he needed to say to me and so then we could talk about the situation.
“It didn’t make it any easier for him, but I’ve been through the same thing over here (Manly) and I just said, ‘I know how you feel’.
“He was really good and he said he knew it was nothing personal or my fault, it’s just the way footy is these days.”
Farah’s future remains unknown, with the Tigers attempting to release their star hooker who was told if he stayed at the joint venture he’d be playing reserve grade.
Ballin, who is in doubt for the Tigers’ season opener in 2016 after rupturing his ACL against Parramatta in August, said he planned to learn from the Blues rake with the pair working together.
The 31-year-old, who debuted for the Sea Eagles in 2007 and had recently signed a new contract to keep him at the club until the end of 2017, contacted new Manly coach Trent Barrett to see if reports of him being on the outer were correct.
“He was very genuine and honest and told me the club was moving in a different direction and gave me the reasons why,” he said.
“We both listened to each other so there’s definitely no bad blood there.
“I then spoke to Jason Taylor and it was like chalk and cheese. It was a no from one coach and a yes from another.
“He (Taylor) went into detail and was really impressive in defining what he thought I could offer the club.”