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Farah, Mbye named for Titans clash at Leichhardt

New Wests Tigers recruits Moses Mbye and Robbie Farah headline a number of changes made by Coach Ivan Cleary for Sunday's clash against the Gold Coast.

Mbye will become Wests Tigers Player #218 when he makes his debut at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, while Life Member Farah will play his first NRL game for the club in 729 days this weekend.

Both players have been named by Cleary in the run-on side for Sunday's all-important match against the Gold Coast Titans as the team looks to stay in touch with the top eight heading in to the Round 17 bye.

Mbye will start at fullback in a new-look side for Wests Tigers this week with the 24-year-old's arrival seeing Corey Thompson shift to the wing with David Nofoaluma (calf) still unavailable this week.

Malakai Watene-Zelezniak retains his spot on the other wing while Fiji international Kevin Naiqama shifts in to the centres in place of Mahe Fonua, who is sidelined after breaking his arm in the loss to Canberra.

After making his New Zealand Test debut in the Denver Test match against England, young gun centre Esan Marsters has been named and is expected to play despite delays in the team's travel back to Australia.

In another boost for Cleary's side, Josh Reynolds returns in the halves alongside Luke Brooks, with the pair to form a new-look spine alongside Farah, who will start at hooker in his 248th game for the club.

Elijah Taylor has been named captain of the team and will start at lock, while Chris Lawrence has been cleared of concussion he sustained in Round 15 and will assume his customary role on the left edge, with Josh Aloiai rounding out the forward pack following his international debut for Samoa last weekend.

His representative teammate Michael Chee Kam returns to the bench after missing out in Round 15, with the Samoan forward joining Alex Twal, Sauaso Sue and Matt Eisenhuth on the interchange list.

After making his first-grade debut in place of Reynolds last round, Tyson Gamble drops back to the reserves list alongside Robbie Rochow, Tim Grant and Chris McQueen, who has also been named to feature for the club's Intrust Super Premiership side on Sunday against the St. George-Illawarra Dragons.

For the Titans, Coach Garth Brennan welcomes back Jarrod Wallace from suspension and Jai Arrow from Queensland State of Origin duties, with both players returning to their usual spots in the forward pack.

Jack Stockwell drops back to the bench, while Morgan Boyle is back in the reserves alongside a number of familiar faces in Kane Elgey, Konrad Hurrell, Bryce Cartwright and Leilaniu Latu.

Round 16 will be Wests Tigers only Sunday afternoon game at Leichhardt Oval this year, having previously beat the North Queensland Cowboys earlier this season in Round 10 on Thursday night.

The round will also mark Luke Brooks' 99th first-grade game — all of which have been for Wests Tigers.

 

WESTS TIGERS

1. Moses Mbye
2. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
3. Esan Marsters
4. Kevin Naiqama
5. Corey Thompson
6. Josh Reynolds
7. Luke Brooks
8. Russell Packer
9. Robbie Farah
10. Ben Matulino
11. Chris Lawrence
12. Josh Aloiai
13. Elijah Taylor (capt.)

Interchange:
14. Alex Twal
15. Sauaso Sue
16. Michael Chee Kam
17. Matt Eisenhuth

Reserves:
18. Tyson Gamble
19. Robbie Rochow
20. Tim Grant
21. Chris McQueen

Coach: Ivan Cleary

 

GOLD COAST TITANS

1. Michael Gordon
2. Anthony Don
3. Dale Copley
4. Brenko Lee
5. Phillip Sami
6. AJ Brimson
7. Ashley Taylor
8. Jarrod Wallace
9. Nathan Peats
10. Ryan James (capt.)
11. Kevin Proctor
12. Keegan Hipgrave
13. Jai Arrow

Interchange:
14. Mitch Rein
15. Will Matthews
16. Moeaki Fotuaika
17. Jack Stockwell

Reserves:
18 Morgan Boyle
19. Konrad Hurrell
20. Kane Elgey
21. Bryce Cartwright
22. Leilaniu Latu

Coach: Garth Brennan