Premiership-winning hooker Matt Ballin will become Wests Tigers Player #197 this afternoon when he makes his Club debut against the Newcastle Knights.
Wests Tigers Coach Jason Taylor has finalised his team for this afternoon’s clash against the Knights, with Ballin confirmed to make his Club debut off the interchange bench — becoming the 11th player to make their Wests Tigers debut since the start of the season.
Ballin joined Wests Tigers at the start of the 2016 season having played 217 NRL games previously in his career for the Sea Eagles. Coming off a full knee replacement in the off-season, Ballin played his first game of rugby league last weekend in the Club’s Intrust Super Premiership (reserve grade) side, scoring a try in a 24-22 win over Wyong.
In other changes to the side originally named during the week, Kevin Naiqama (groin) and Justin Hunt (neck) have also been ruled out, with Jordan Rankin shifting to fullback and Michael Chee Kam and Josh Addo-Carr starting on the right edge in the run-on side.
Dene Halatau will start the match at hooker with Robbie Farah ruled out this week with concussion, while Josh Aloiai and Elijah Taylor start in a new-look forward pack.
Wests Tigers would like to congratulate Ballin on his Club debut this afternoon!