Amongst four players set to make their Wests Tigers’ debut this weekend, Martin Taupau will be out to impress with the goal of securing a permanent place in the team.
Recruited from the Bulldogs for this season, the Auckland-born prop played just 21 NRL games in three seasons at his previous Club due to injuries and limited opportunties amongst a strong forward pack.
With a solid pre-season under his belt, the man nicknamed ‘Kapow’ is hoping to replicate his impressive performances in the Club’s trial matches against St George Illawarra and more importantly, throughout the entire season.
“The whole point of the trial matches is to get back in routine, improve your weaknesses and now I’m really looking forward to the Dragons game,” Taupau said.
“New colours, new team, new coach and a new beginning - it’s important I start off well so it’s all guns blazing for me this week against St George Illawarra.”
With fellow prop forward James Gavet also making his top grade debut for the Wests Tigers this weekend, Taupau is excited by the front row rotation that will take on the Dragons this Sunday.
“We have a good mix of power, strength and endurance, especially with (Aaron) Woods who has the ability to play 70 minutes,” Taupau said.
“We have got a good rotation there and it should be exciting amongst that forward pack this week.”
With Keith Galloway expected to return from injury in Round 2 and young gun Nathan Brown playing NSW Cup, Taupau knows competition for places will be tough this season.
“I really want to play well and keep my spot for the remainder of the year,” Taupau said. “I’ve got to be consistent as always, that’s my main goal for 2014.”