Wests Tigers will tonight field the most inexperienced side in the Club’s history, with two exciting young players set to make their NRL debut against Canterbury-Bankstown at ANZ Stadium.
Delouise Hoeter and Lamar Liolevave, both products of Keebra Park High School and Marist Saints in New Zealand, will line-up for their first grade debuts in a side with a combined total of 910 NRL games.
Hoeter replaces the suspended Pat Richards on the wing, while Liolevave is a late inclusion following the withdrawal of Dene Halatau with a quad strain.
Prior to tonight’s game, a Wests Tigers outfit with a total of 963 first grade games took the field in Round 18 of the 2002 season against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Tonight’s team will also be the youngest Wests Tigers side since 2008, with an average age of 23 years and 197 days. In Round 20 of the 2008 season, the Club fielded a team with an average age of 23 years and 127 days against the Penrith Panthers.
In a promising sign for the Club, 14 players in tonight’s squad will have only ever played NRL for Wests Tigers; with Keith Galloway, Kevin Naiqama and Martin Taupau the only exceptions.
Tonight’s squad (in alphabetical order):
Luke Brooks - (Age 20 – 25 NRL games); Jack Buchanan - (Age 22 – 29 NRL games); Robbie Farah - (Age 31 – 224 NRL games); Keith Galloway - (Age 29 – 188 NRL games); Delouise Hoeter - (Age 21 – Yet to play NRL); Chris Lawrence - (Age 26 – 153 NRL games); Lamar Liolevave - (Age 19 – Yet to play NRL); Kyle Lovett - (Age 22 – 1 NRL game); Mitchell Moses - (Age 20 – 13 NRL games); Kevin Naiqama - (Age 26 – 26 NRL games); Brenden Santi - (Age 21 – 4 NRL games); Ava Seumanufagai - (Age 23 – 43 NRL games); Tim Simona - (Age 23 – 41 NRL games); Curtis Sironen - (Age 21 – 41 NRL games); Sauaso Sue - (Age 22 – 38 NRL games); Martin Taupau - (Age 25 – 48 NRL games); James Tedesco – (Age 22 – 31 NRL games)