Wests Tigers formally farewelled nine players at the Club’s Kelly-Barnes Award.
The Club would like to thank Matt, Joel, Justin, Jamal, Jack, Kyle, Ava, James and Aaron for their individual service over the years, and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.
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Matt Ballin (2016-17)
Matt joined Wests Tigers at the start of the 2016 season after undergoing knee surgery, but played just two games that season after a reoccurrence of the injury. He returned for one game in 2017, but was forced in to immediate retirement due to his knee injuries.
Joel Edwards (2016-17)
Joel joined Wests Tigers at the start of the 2016 season, playing eight games for the Club in his first year, before featuring in a further 12 games for the team in season 2017.
Justin Hunt (2016-17)
Justin made his sole appearance for Wests Tigers in 2016, and was playing in the Club’s Intrust Super Premiership side this season when he suffered a very serious leg injury. He is still recovering from that injury and we wish him well in his rehabilitation.
Jamal Idris (2017)
Having not played since midway through 2015, Jamal Idris returned to the NRL on a one-year deal with Wests Tigers. After managing a small hamstring injury, Jamal played five games for the Club before suffering a season-ending knee injury after Round 7.
Jack Littlejohn (2016-17)
Jack joined Wests Tigers from the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at the start of 2016, playing 17 games across two seasons providing cover in the halves and at hooker.
Kyle Lovett (2015-17)
A local junior of the Club, Kyle made his first-grade debut in the opening round of the 2015 season — going on to play 21 of a possible 24 games and picked up the Club’s Rookie of the Year Award. He played another 29 games across two seasons, with his 50th and final appearance for the Club coming against the Parramatta Eels in Round 20.
Ava Seumanufagai (2013-17)
Ava made his first-grade debut for Wests Tigers in Round 3 of the 2013 season and went on to play a further 16 games that season as he consolidated his spot in the Club’s forward pack. Over the next four years, Ava would continue to feature prominently and made his 100th appearance for the Club against the Cronulla Sharks in Round 15. The 26-year-old will finish with 105 games for Wests Tigers and will join the Sharks in 2018.
James Tedesco (2012-17)
After a forgettable debut in Round 1, 2012, James returned from injury to the first-grade side in 2013 and soon made the fullback spot his own — scoring eight tries in 19 games to win the Club’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2013. After overcoming a number of serious injuries, James has recorded 90 games for Wests Tigers while also making representative appearances for Italy, City Origin, Prime Minister’s XIII and New South Wales Origin. He will join the Sydney Roosters in 2018.
Aaron Woods (2011-17)
Aaron made his first-grade debut for Wests Tigers in the opening round of the 2011 season, going on to play a total of 24 games for the Club that year as they reached the Semi Finals, with Woods named the Club’s Rookie of the Year. Woods played 24 games again the following season — establishing himself as one of the best young forwards in the game and a regular in Wests Tigers team. He was named captain of Wests Tigers at the start of the 2016 season, and will finish his time at the Club with 146 first-grade appearances, before joining the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2018.