weststigers.com.au staff debate seven key questions heading into 2017.
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WHICH ROUND 1 POSITION IS MOST UP IN THE AIR?
It would have to be left wing. In my opinion, there are three main contenders — Jordan Rankin, Justin Hunt and Moses Suli. The player who spent the most time in that role during the Club’s trial matches was 18-year-old rookie Suli; however, will Jason Taylor opt for the more experienced Rankin or Hunt to open the 2017 season ahead of the untried teenager?
The main question mark surrounding Wests Tigers is still that of the left wing, but there’s also a few others that exist — particularly that of the other starting prop spot. Last season, it was Sauaso Sue who partnered Aaron Woods up front for most of the season, with Tim Grant also earning a number of starting appearances, but it looks like Sue could shift to the right edge this year, as he did in the trial match against the Cowboys. That would free up Josh Aloiai (who played excellently at prop against the Cowboys) to possibly start, or take either Ava’s or Grant’s prop spot on the bench. I’d lean towards the experience of Grant starting with Woods (almost 300 games combined), but whether that will transpire still remains up in the air.
I'd have to go with hooker, because there's a great battle going on for that spot. Looks like it'll come down to Jacob Liddle to Matt Ballin to see who starts, and then there's the question of whether they'll be right for Round 1 so it might be Matt McIlwrick. They've all looked good at training so there's plenty of options to think through for 2017.
Saturday — Which player will be the most improved in 2017?
Sunday — What's the toughest road game on the schedule this year?
Monday — Which young player is poised for a breakout season?
Tuesday — Which player will be most crucial to the team in 2017?
Wednesday — What's the one home game you don't want to miss?
Thursday — Which underrated player will have the biggest impact this season?