Wests Tigers NRL Head Coach Jason Taylor believes the return of star centre duo Tim Simona and David Nofoaluma from injury will add some much needed strike-power to his side named to take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night.
After re-injuring his ankle against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 11, Simona will return this week against the Rabbitohs, while Nofoaluma is set for just his second game of the year after returning against the Newcastle Knights in Round 10.
And with a combined total of 33 tries in just 78 games between them, the two young gun local juniors will pose some serious threat out wide this week, Coach Taylor enthused.
“David was really close [to playing] last week, and when I say really close, he’s pretty much trained the final session but we decided he wasn’t quite right after that,” he said.
“That was when Nathan [Milone] came in very late for his debut, but he’s pretty much 100 percent now and ready to go this Friday night against the Rabbitohs.
“Tim’s still got a little bit to do in terms of ticking all the boxes but should be right.
“It’s great to have those two guys back in those positions — they will strengthen us up.”
In addition to the duo returning for Friday’s match, young gun hooker Manaia Cherrington has also been named on the interchange bench after a stellar debut last weekend, while Matthew Lodge has also been called back into the side after playing NSW Cup last week.
Keith Galloway will start in the absence of Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah due to Origin commitments, while Dene Halatau moves to hooker and will also captain the side.
See what Taylor had to say about this week’s team and opponents in the video above.
1. James Tedesco
2. Kevin Naiqama
3. David Nofoaluma
4. Tim Simona
5. Pat Richards
6. Mitchell Moses
7. Luke Brooks
8. Keith Galloway
9. Dene Halatau (capt.)
10. Sauaso Sue
11. Kyle Lovett
12. Chris Lawrence
13. Martin Taupau
14. Ava Seumanufagai
15. Matthew Lodge
16. Manaia Cherrington
17. Brenden Santi
21. Jack Buchanan
Coach: Jason Taylor