Potter not a cut-price NRL coach: Tigers

Wests Tigers boss Stephen Humphreys on Wednesday rubbished claims the NRL club’s new coach Mick Potter was a cut-price option.

Former Canterbury and St George fullback Potter was unveiled as Tim Sheens’ replacement, signing a two-year deal.

Sheens was relieved of his duties with two years to run on his contract, with the club offering their coach of 10 years a ‘development’ role at the Tigers.

If Sheens doesn’t accept the offer, the Tigers face the prospect of paying out the veteran mentor, whose contract is said to be worth $450,000 a season.

Humphreys slammed talk suggesting Potter’s deal was heavily incentive-based and had a five-figure base salary.

“I can clarify that’s total rubbish,” Humphreys told AAP on Wednesday.

“It’s obviously inappropriate to talk about someone’s salary package but I can say that Mick’s remuneration package is in line with someone of his experience at this level.

“It’s a normal ‘vanilla’ (plain) type of deal.”

Humphreys also hit out at claims the Tigers are struggling financially.

“I’m not sure where that comes from. I’ve not seen anyone quoted on any of that stuff,” he said.

“Our club’s in good shape and we’ve made a very strong appointment with Mick. We go forward, with funding coming from a new broadcast deal, in really good shape.”

The impeccably-credentialled Potter, a two-time Dally M medallist and dual premiership winner with the Bulldogs in 1984 and 1985, built a reputation for himself as a mentor during his seven years abroad.

He comes off a season where he helped keep financially-unstable club Bradford afloat being named the 2012 Super League coach of the year.

“Ultimately, I wanted to come home a couple of years ago but I have a bit of a feel for Bradford and I wanted to spend a couple of years there helping them out,” he said.

“I think it’s made me a better coach.”

Potter, who has also coached Catalan and St Helens overseas, beat candidates including Melbourne assistant coach Kevin Walters.

He said he can’t wait to get to work with his squad but that stars Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah would not be running the show at the Tigers with the pair rumoured to be behind a push to oust Sheens.

“They are influential players and I want them to have influence but, ultimately, I’m the head coach and it’s a case of it being about the team,” he said.

Meanwhile, Humphreys said the club wanted Sheens to stick around.

“We remain keen for Tim to play a senior role for us overseeing our development activities and Tim’s considering that along with some other possibilities,” he said.

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