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Kyle Lovett and Brenden Santi may have played just one game each in the NSW Cup but their positive attitude and work rate has not been lost on Wests Tigers Coach Paul Fletcher.

Injuries to the NRL and NSW Cup sides saw Santi and Lovett promoted last week to get their first taste of senior football under Fletcher.

Wests Tigers may have gone down to Windsor Wolves but Fletcher was full of praise for both young men who played key roles in last years premiership winning U20s side.

In his 75 minutes, Lovett made 48 tackles (no missed tackles) and eight hit ups for 95 metres. Santi was just as effective, making 41 tackles in his 58 minutes for six hit ups for 63 metres.

Fletcher described their attitude as refreshing and has duly rewarded them again this weekend. Lovett will start in the second-row with Santi at lock for the match against Wentworthville at Ringrose Park this Sunday.


I spoke to Kyle and Brenden after our first training session last week and it was like they had been in the team the whole time. They slipped in really well without any hiccups. Fletcher said.

One of the first things they said to me was what a pleasure it was for them to be with the NSW Cup team. They were so excited to be there.

After the game, they both thanked me for their opportunity and hoped there would be more.

It is such a great attitude to have. It is so refreshing. I said earlier in the year that Ive never had a better prepared group of U20s players come up to the NSW Cup team than I do now.

Blokes like Asipeli Fine, Inno Inosesio, Sitaleki Akauola and Soni Paasi have come into NSW Cup this year and they want to be there.

It is the same with Brendan and Kyle. It is a real credit to Todd Payten and how he has managed them.

Ive told Todd I wont hesitate to throw any of the younger players in. A lot of the clubs are now playing their good U20s kids in the NSW Cup as the standard of the competition is getting to where it should be. It has really grown.

These young players see it as a pathway to first grade and dont come into the team with an attitude of being overlooked as some of the senior players do.
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