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Cleary names strong side for pivotal Bulldogs clash

Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary has named his 21-man squad to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs for their Round 20 clash this Friday night.

Kickoff for the match is at 7:50pm AEST as Wests Tigers look to build on their recent upset wins over the Dragons and Rabbitohs and keep their finals hopes alive with a third straight win.

Heading in to Round 20, Wests Tigers currently sit in ninth spot — four points behind the Penrith Panthers, Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors, who all sit level inside the top eight on 24 points.

Cleary has named a relatively unchanged side from the one that stunned the ladder-leading Rabbitohs last Saturday at ANZ Stadium with the only change that of Josh Aloiai, who has been ruled out with injury.

Aloiai is replaced in the run-on side by Luke Garner, who earns the first start of his career just two games after making his first-grade debut, while Robbie Rochow returns to the squad on the interchange bench.

Jacob Liddle, Chris McQueen, Pita Godinet and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak have been named as reserves.

After failing to return from their concussion tests last Saturday, Robbie Farah, David Nofoaluma and Garner have all been named to play and will undergo the appropriate concussion protocols this week.

Friday's game will feature as a milestone match for Nofoaluma, who plays his 100th NRL game, and also Taylor, who plays his 50th game for Wests Tigers having previously played for the Warriors and Panthers.

Bulldogs Coach Dean Pay has also named a relatively unchanged lineup for Friday's game with Ofahiki Ogden replacing Clay Priest (suspension) on the bench in the only change for the side.

Chris Smith, Matt Frawley, Francis Tualau and John Olive have been named as reserves.

Wests Tigers were 14-10 winners over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs when they met in Round 12 earlier this year at ANZ Stadium — a venue they have won four of their five games at this season.

 

TEAM LISTS

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Will Hopoate
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses Mbye
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Brett Morris
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Josh Morris
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Esan Marsters
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Kerrod Holland
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Kevin Naiqama
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Reimis Smith
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Corey Thompson
  • Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Lachlan Lewis
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
  • Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jeremy Marshall-King
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks

Forwards

  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden Tolman
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Russell Packer
  • Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Michael Lichaa
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 David Klemmer
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Ben Matulino
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Michael Chee-Kam
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Rhyse Martin
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luke Garner
  • Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Adam Elliott
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Elijah Taylor

Interchange

  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Fa'amanu Brown
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Alex Twal
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Greg Eastwood
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Sauaso Sue
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Ofahiki Ogden
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Matthew Eisenhuth
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Danny Fualalo
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 19 Chris McQueen