Wests Tigers Captain Aaron Woods will play his first match of the year this Saturday, as the Club plays its final trial match against Cronulla at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Head Coach Jason Taylor has named a strong 20-man squad for the Sharks’ clash, which includes livewire fullback James Tedesco and edge backrower Curtis Sironen, who also both take the field for the first time in 2016.
Five of the Club’s off-season recruits — Jack Littlejohn, Tim Grant, Jordan Rankin, Justin Hunt and Josh Aloiai — have been named in the team as they push for selection in Round 1.
Taylor said he was impressed with last weekend’s narrow 18-16 victory over the Melbourne Storm on the Sunshine Coast but felt there are still areas to work on ahead of Round 1.
“The main area that we want to improve on coming out of last week’s trial is our middle of the field defensively,” he said.
“We did a good job of that in patches against the Storm but not so well at other times. We really want to improve that this week against Cronulla and be consistent throughout the year.
“This week we welcome back guys like Aaron Woods and James Tedesco, which will be a huge boost for us. Giving a lot of the younger guys an opportunity over the past two weeks has been great, but we will be certainly getting ready for Round 1 with the side named this week.”
Campbelltown Sports Stadium will host a five-game program this Saturday — with Harold Matthews, SG Ball, Holden Cup and NSW Cup games all preluding the NRL clash.
The football-feast is great value for fans, with tickets $15 or family passes at $40, while all 2016 Wests Tigers Members gain free entry on the day.
The Club will be also live-streaming the match on weststigers.com.au from 6:45pm.
1. James Tedesco
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Tim Simona
4. Kevin Naiqama
5. Justin Hunt
18. Mitchell Moses
7. Jack Littlejohn
8. Aaron Woods (C)
9. Robbie Farah
10. Tim Grant
11. Curtis Sironen
12. Chris Lawrence
13. Sauaso Sue
6. Jordan Rankin
14. Ava Seumanufagai
15. Josh Aloiai
16. Manaia Cherrington
17. Kyle Lovett
20. Josh Drinkwater
Coach: Jason Taylor
11:45am — Gates Open
12:00pm — Harold Matthews: Western Suburbs Magpies vs. Cronulla Sharks
1:30pm — SG Ball: Western Suburbs Magpies vs. Cronulla Sharks
3:00pm — NYC Holden Cup: Wests Tigers vs. Cronulla Sharks
5:00pm — NSW Cup: Wests Tigers vs. Newtown Jets
7:00pm — NRL: Wests Tigers vs. Cronulla Sharks