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Wests Tigers can confirm the release of centre Blake Ayshford from the final two years of his contract.

Contracted to Wests Tigers until the end of the 2015 season, Ayshford approached the club asking for a release. He will see out the season with Wests Tigers before joining Cronulla.

Chief Operating Officer Grant Mayer said the decision to release Ayshford and forward Eddy Pettybourne last week has helped ease salary cap issues that have developed this season due to a heavy injury toll.

"Managing the salary is often a day by day proposition and decisions like this, whilst difficult, are correct for our long term plans" Mayer said.

We are going through an important rebuilding phase that will re-establish the Wests Tigers as a top contender year on year. We have some exceptionally big decisions to make over the coming months and with the Direction of our Board, I am confident that our future will be bright.

From a football perspective, we need a cultural shift that will help develop our young talent. Players like Tim Simona, David Nofoaluma, Marika Koroibete, Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses, Kyle Lovett, Nathan Brown and

Matt Woods are all coming through our system and need to be developed and invested in."

Mayer said that Captain Robbie Farah and the senior leadership group will be instrumental in building the right environment for the younger players.

They are international players with tremendous leadership qualities and their experience in this area will be vital, he added
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