The Chronicle

MADGE COPS A PARTING SHOT

- DEAN RITCHIE

FORMER Wests Tigers star Joey Leilua has taken a swipe at Michael Maguire during his ugly exit from Concord, claiming the coach refuses to accept blame for a loss.

He has become the first Tiger to publicly hit out at Maguire’s coaching methods.

Wests Tigers reportedly offered Leilua – who was once earning $850,000 a season – a train and trial contract worth just $1000 a week. Leilua took to social media to deny he was offered such a modest deal and then sensationa­lly claimed he didn’t want to play under Maguire.

Leilua then claimed Maguire blamed the players – and not himself – for another poor season. On Instagram, Leilua posted: “Btw (by the way), I wouldn’t play for someone that blames the team all the time! And not himself!! #Madge.

“Well, this (train and trial) is another lie. Never got offered to go there for a train and trial.”

Those close to Leilua dispute his denial.

It was to be a massive cash reduction for a highly skilled player who contested the 2019 grand final and was once touted as a possible NSW centre.

Leilua will reportedly reject the offer and seek to continue his career playing rugby union in the US.

Sources close to Leilua are planning to send some vision of his performanc­es to US rugby clubs playing in the 12team Major League Rugby competitio­n.

Leilua arrived at Concord in 2020 but has failed to rediscover the form that made him an elite player during a five-year tenure at Canberra. He had a contract worth about $850,000 a season during his time at Canberra.

Wests Tigers elected against activating a contract extension for 2022.

 ?? Pictures: Getty, AAP ?? Former Tiger Joey Leilua (main) has taken aim at Michael Maguire.
Pictures: Getty, AAP Former Tiger Joey Leilua (main) has taken aim at Michael Maguire.
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