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Ivan Cleary has to make the biggest decision of his career – stay "on the bus" and continue to coach the Wests Tigers or return to the club that sacked him less than three years ago.

The urge to return to the Penrith Panthers to coach his son Nathan may prove too hard to turn down.

Even if he decides to stay, Jamie Soward says the damage has been done.

"I don't think the [Wests] Tigers Board would see it tenable," Soward told the NRL Podcast.

Penrith parted ways with Anthony Griffin on Monday after the board came to the belief he couldn't lead the club to a premiership.

Soward thinks that would change under Cleary.

"Ivan will go to the Penrith Panthers, he'll coach his son and they'll be very successful," Soward said. "I wouldn't be surprised if they win a competition in the next two years." chief reporter Michael Chammas also joined Soward and Zac Bailey on this week's NRL Podcast to give his thoughts on the Cleary coaching saga.

The trio also spoke about Billy Slater's decision to retire at the end of the 2018 and compared Soward's answers to Players' Poll, to the answers players gave.

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