A successful contingent from the Illawarra competition are among a host of new faces in Wests Tigers’ Holden Cup squad for the 2016 season.
While the majority of players come through the Balmain and Western Suburbs pathways into Holden Cup, the Club has recruited a premiership-winning combination from the Illawarra district for the new season.
Thomas Bartley, Samuel DeFiddes and Paul Roberts were part of the Collegians Under 19s side who recorded a 28-22 victory in the Illawarra Under 19s Grand Final over Corrimal last September.
The trio joined Wests Tigers’ pre-season training last month, with each of them having a significant impact for ‘Collies’ in the decider at WIN Stadium.
Bartley captained the Collegians side, with the five-eighth playing his junior football at the Wollongong-based club and winning a second premiership later that day – backing-up for Reserve Grade.
DeFiddes is primarily a centre who joined the Illawarra competition in 2015, playing his junior football with the Joondalup Giants in Western Australia, and was awarded man-of-the-match in the Grand Final after notching-up two tries.
Roberts is a utility player who can cover a range of positions including hooker, halfback and fullback – the Dapto junior also impressed with a try of his own - with many who watched the game rating him a close second to DeFiddes for man-of-the-match honours.