Wests Tigers have today confirmed the club’s development players for the 2018 season.
Under the new NRL initiative clubs are able to sign a maximum of six development players each year, with Wests Tigers choosing to have four in 2018.
The club is pleased to announce the signing of Thomas Mikaele, Heath Gibbs, Sam McIntyre and Dylan Smith, with all four players to train with Wests Tigers fulltime.
Wests Tigers Recruitment Manager David Warwick said that the club was looking forwarding to having the players take the next step in the careers at Wests Tigers.
“These young men will join us as development players and all possess great talent,” said Warwick. “We look forward to seeing them progress as they train fulltime with our senior squad. Training fulltime for a first year player is in itself a hard task however over the next 12 months I expect to see the boys develop quite rapidly.
“As a part of their development player contract they’re not eligible for NRL selection so will begin the year with the Under 20s team but I expect to see them feature in the Intrust Super Premiership side throughout the season,” he said.
Thomas Mikaele was a part of Wests Tigers’ Holden Cup squad in 2017 and represented the club on 17 occasions. The 19-year-old front rower was also a part of the Australian Schoolboys and Queensland Under 18s teams in both 2015 and 2016.
Heath Gibbs, 19, will join Wests Tigers from the Newcastle Knights. Gibbs, originally from Bourke, is the nephew of Timana Tahu and is a powerful outside back.
Also joining Wests Tigers from the Knights is 19-year-old Sam McIntyre who hails from Port Macquarie and has recently worked his way from the centres into the backrow.
Wests Tigers’ third development player for 2018 is 18-year-old Dylan Smith. Smith is the current Australian Schoolboys fullback and will join the club from the Cronulla Sharks.
As well as the four development players Wests Tigers are pleased to announce the re-signing of local junior Alex Seyfarth for the next three years. Seyfarth had a breakout year in 2017, graduating from the Balmain Tigers SG Ball team into Wests Tigers’ Holden Cup squad, where he played 11 games.
The 18 year old was rewarded for his form with a spot in the NSW Under 18 team that defeated Queensland at ANZ Stadium earlier this year. Seyfarth will start his development player contract in 2019.
Date of Birth — 2nd February, 1998
Position — Centre, Second Row
Junior Club — Souths Newcastle
Date of Birth — 20th March, 1998
Position — Second Row, Lock
Junior Club — Port Macquarie Sharks
Date of Birth — 11th January, 1998
Position — Prop, Lock, Second Row
Junior Club — Goodna Eagles
Rep. Honours — Australian Schoolboys (2015-16), QLD U/18’s (2015-16), QLD U/20’s (2017)
Position — Fullback
Junior Club — Endeavour Sports High School
Rep. Honours — Australian Schoolboys (2017), NSW U/16’s (2015)