Canterbury Bulldogs paying Moses Mbye $175,000 to play against them for Wests Tigers


David Klemmer and Aaron Woods are also pocketing part of their income from Canterbury despite playing for Newcastle and Cronulla respectively.

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But Dogs supporters will cringe knowing Mbye has been embraced by the Tigers – so much so he was elevated to the captaincy – and will be paid by his former club to sink the boot into them.

Mbye inked a four-year deal with the Tigers understood to be worth around $3 million, including the Dogs’ extra payments.

Canterbury chief executive Andrew Hill and coach Dean Pay have moved some of the club’s biggest names on in a desperate bid to ease cap pressure caused by their predecessors.

The club conceded last year the cap situation was so bleak it was unable to make a play for a marquee player until at least 2021. Canterbury are already the firm favourites to take out the spoon this season.

Pay dumped five players to reserve grade after the Parramatta loss and will hand local junior Jayden Okunbor his debut on the wing.

Tigers halfback Luke Brooks is one person who is delighted Mbye made the call to link with the Tigers.

Brooks has the luxury of leaning on three of the most experienced teammates in the Tigers spine,  with Mbye, Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall having played more than 650 NRL games between them.

Another unwanted Dog, Josh Reynolds, who is awaiting a first-grade recall, has also been assisting Brooks at training.

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Brooks has started the season brilliantly, and made it known he had also taken inspiration from the flying start made by his Parramatta pal and former housemate Mitchell Moses.

“After the season Parramatta had last year, it was a tough one for him [Moses], but I know what he’s capable of, and it’s good to see him playing well,” Brooks said of Moses.

“He moved out in the off-season, but we’re still close. We bought some jetskis at Christmas. They’re ‘his and his’.

“We never really spoke about footy when he lived together. But seeing the other one play well only makes you want to play well.

“He’s controlling the team really well, he’s got a young halves partner, and Mitch has that control of the team. I’ve got the opposite [of young] in Benji, but he’s been good, and our spine is working really well.”

Tigers teammates believe Brooks has taken his game to another level and grown in confidence since being awarded the Dally M halfback of the year.

The Tigers will be hoping to play their first game of the season in dry conditions and show what they are capable of with ball in hand at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday against a spluttering Canterbury.

“Brooksy is growing as a player, you can see it on the field,” Esan Marsters said. “He’s leading us around the park well and his kicking game and running game have gone to another level.

“I think he’s got appoint to prove each week for himself. Winning Dally M halfback of year and almost being the Dally M winner there’s a lot of pressure on him, but the thing with Brooksy is he’s always cool and calm and goes out each week to  be the best player he can be. When he’s on, we’re on.”

Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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