Fine, Santi to Make NRL Debut

Wests Tigers are pleased to announce that Asipeli Fine and Brenden Santi will both make their NRL debut this evening against the Canberra Raiders.

Fine will start at left centre and becomes the 178th player to play first-grade for Wests Tigers while Santi will come off the bench to become the 179th player.

NRL Head Coach Mick Potter said that he was pleased both players had the opportunity to make their debut in the back-end of the season, and encouraged that both players had recently signed new deals with the Club as well.

“It’s always great to give young guys the chance to make their debut,” said Potter.

“Both Asipeli and Brenden have been very impressive throughout the year in State Cup, and they get rewarded now for their efforts earlier in the season.

“It’s especially good that both have signed new deals with the Club this year and that they’re going to be here for the next little while and we can continue to track their progress. Out of necessity, some of the players [we’ve used this year] have had to come through a little earlier than we’d like, but these two are on track, and I think in the future they’ll be good, solid first-grade players.”

Fine was named 2013 NSW Cup Player of the Year and has continued that form with a number of strong performances for the team this year. Able to play both back row and centre, the Mascot Jets junior has a great ability to read the game and his strong carries and tackles have made him a very sound edge player.

The 21-year-old Fine recently signed a new deal that will see him remain at Wests Tigers until the end of the 2016 season, while Santi is contracted to the Club until the end of 2015 following a mid-season release from Parramatta Eels.

A member of Wests Tigers’ 2012 Holden Cup-winning team that also included Fine, Santi joined the Club in May following a release from his contract.

The 21-year-old — who also represented Italy along with Wests Tigers teammate James Tedesco at the 2013 Rugby World Cup — is a powerful ball runner and strong tackler, who brings great energy and enthusiasm every time he takes the field.

NSW Cup Coach Paul Fletcher echoed the sentiments of Potter, and affirmed that both players would certainly leave their mark on the game this Saturday night.

“These two have been two of my best and most reliable players this year,” said Fletcher, “and I know they won’t let any Wests Tigers fans down this week.

“They’ve got a real hunger and desire to compete, but they’re also really mature footballers for guys still so young. They’re both switched on, and while they’ll definitely be nervous this week, I know that it won’t phase them too much.

“Both deserve this, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s coming for them this week.”

Player Profiles

Asipeli Fine

 

Brenden Santi

26th October, 1992

D.O.B.

5th August, 1993

191cm

Height

187cm

96kg

Weight

101kg

Centre, Second Row, Wing

Position

Lock, Second Row

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Rep. Honours

Italy (2013)

Mascot Jets

Junior Clubs

Chester Hill

@asipeli3

Twitter

@BLJSanti

@asipeli_92

Instagram

@santii_13