Wests Tigers are pleased to announce that Lamar Liolevave will make his first-grade debut on Friday night against the Cantebury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Liolevave will become the 183rd player to play first-grade for Wests Tigers.
The 19-year-old will start on the interchange bench against the Bulldogs as a replacement for Dene Halatau, who has been ruled out of the match with a quad injury.
Halatau’s injury isn’t major, with Coach Jason Taylor only making the decision to rule him out at the conclusion of this morning’s training session. He is expected to be available for selection for the Club’s next match against the Parramatta Eels in Round 5.
A graduate from Keebra Park High School, Liolevave was a standout player for Wests Tigers’ Holden Cup side in 2014 — named as the Coaches Player of the Year. The Marist Saints junior registered 10 tries, 15 linebreaks and six try-assists for the year, and capped off his breakout year with selection in the 2014 Junior New Zealand Kiwis team.
Liolevave joined the full-time extended NRL squad in 2015 after signing a new deal with the Club, and featured in the Club’s Auckland Nines squad earlier this year.
The powerful back-rower spoke of his excitement about making his debut this week, and being able to play alongside close friend Delouise Hoeter.
“It’s very exciting for myself” said Liolevave.
“I’m pretty nervous, but I’m just happy to be blessed with this opportunity.
“It’s great to play with Dela this week too. We go way back — we were together in New Zealand and then we came to Australia together and now making our debut together.
"It’s pretty good, and I’m very happy and proud for him as well this week.”
Hear more from Lamar about making his debut this week in the video above.
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Player Profile: Lamar Liolevave
D.O.B — 1st December, 1995
Height — 185cm
Weight — 112kg
Position — Second Row
Rep. Honours — Junior Kiwis (2014), Australian Schoolboys (2013)
Junior Clubs — Marist Saints, New Zealand