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Wests Tigers' Ryan Matterson.

Wests Tigers back-rower Ryan Matterson has been the victim of the ever-changing recruitment market more than once. But he still believes the system where players can break contracts and switch clubs is the right one.

For him it's a case of third time lucky, but he is happy he's found a new home at the joint venture after he left the Roosters 12 months earlier than expected.

Matterson had agreed to a two-year extension at Bondi in 2017 but an obstacle appeared in the back-rower's pathway in the top grade when Angus Crichton arrived this season.

It wasn't the first time he had to depart a club early though. He found himself in the same situation when as a teenager playing five-eighth for Parramatta when Kieran Foran arrived just weeks after he agreed to a three-year extension.  

Now Matterson may not know the exact ins and outs around talk regarding some of his teammates' futures at Wests Tigers (or the pending arrival of Tim Mannah), but he does believe the current system allows players to have some power when they need it.

"Rugby League used to be more than an organisation, I feel like there was a lot more respect but now it's just turned into a business," Matterson said.

Cowboys v Wests Tigers - Round 14

"Everyone has to look after themselves and you're only in the game for a short time so you want to play as many as you can and be happy at the place you were at.

"It's hard with a lot of player movements and coach movements it impedes on other people. I've been at previous clubs when people have come in and I've just signed lengthy contracts and then I was down in the pecking order.

"That's twice I've signed three-year deals and I got out in the first year. As a player I'm glad I was able to move because if I had to stay when I was at Parramatta ... I wouldn't have played first grade at the Roosters the year after."

Matterson has been one of the Wests Tigers' most consistent performers this year with an average of 116 metres and 37 tackles per game. It was so impressive, his form in the first half of the season warranted selection as 18th man for the Blues ahead of Origin I.

"It was awesome, I loved it. It was a long camp but enjoyable," Matterson said.

Ryan Matterson in Roosters colours.
Ryan Matterson in Roosters colours. ©NRL Photos

"Just the ethics and effort areas around that camp I want to bring back to the Tigers. The chat and energy was so high. I feel like training with quality players brings it out of you.

"We haven't been getting the wins as much as we want to but individually I'm (hitting) my straps. There's still a lot of areas I want to improve on but as an individual, I'm growing and the exciting thing is there's a lot of growth left in me."

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