Neil Henry has been sacked by the Gold Coast Titans, seemingly bringing to an end a widely reported feud between the senior coach and star signing Jarryd Hayne.
“It was a particularly difficult conversation to have, everyone feels… for Neil and his family,” Titans CEO Graham Annesley said.
“The timing was not of the board’s desire. Unfortunately the timing was taken out of the board’s hands with the events that took place.
“By and large the board were driven by one agenda and one agenda only: to make a decision in the best interests of the club… in 2018 and beyond.
“We wish Neil nothing but the best for the future, and made it very velar to Neil that he’ll be welcome around this club.
“Everyone is hurting a little bit today.”
The Gold Coast Titans confirmed the news in an email to their members and made an announcement to the playing group on Monday after a day-long board meeting where Henry’s fate was decided.
Hayne, a Dally M Medallist in his time with the Eels, joined the Titans on a $1.2 million deal, but has failed to deliver this year.
It was revealed earlier this month that Henry did not want the Titans to recruit Hayne last year.
“He didn’t want him there because for Neil it was about managing the salary cap, there was too much money being put into one player for the salary cap,” said Daily Telegraph journalist Paul Kent.
A number of players had expressed public support for Henry to continue in his role, including Kevin Proctor.
“I reckon he’s the right man for the job… we’re all backing him as players and I’m hoping the board does that too,” Proctor said.
“He’s been getting hammered by the press and I feel sorry for him.
“Our bad performances have been back lashing on him and he doesn’t deserve it.”
However, Henry had reportedly lost the support of other key players.
With two rounds remaining in this NRL season the Titans are fourteen on the ladder with seven wins and fifteen losses, and have the second-worst points differential in the competition with -174, better only than the bottom-of-the-table Newcastle Knights.