Wests Tigers will head in to their Round 13 clash against the Canberra Raiders well rested after the bye last week and determined to bounce back in to the winner's circle.
While the Green Machine were slogging out a hard-fought win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Saturday night, Michael Maguire's side were having a well-earned break during the bye weekend and will return fresh for Friday's clash against the Raiders as the club hosts its first ever home game at Bankwest Stadium.
Maguire will have a strong complement of players to choose from for this week's team with only Moses Mbye (Queensland) and Ryan Matterson (New South Wales) committed to their respective State of Origin sides. With less than 48 hours from the completion of Game One to the NRL fixture taking place, both players will need to be assessed post-match as to their availability for Friday's game, although Matterson should be more likely to back-up if he does not feature for the Blues.
With Mbye ruled out last week, Corey Thompson switched to fullback with David Nofoaluma returning on the wing, and the performances of both players will no doubt give Maguire some positive decisions to make in regard to this week's side.
On the injury front, Josh Reynolds (knee) and Chris Lawrence (jaw/face) are nearing their returns and could come in to calculations in the coming weeks while Elijah Taylor is also right to return after sitting out Round 12 with concussion.
For Canberra, Coach Ricky Stuart will have been pleased to see the early return of John Bateman from a facial injury picked up against the Panthers last month, with the English forward's return adding plenty to a Raiders' pack that will again be without two more players after issues picked up in the win over the Bulldogs.
Corey Horsburgh sustained an elbow injury and will miss this week's game, while youngster Hudson Young is also looking at an extended period on the sidelines after being hit with a hefty suspension from the Match Review Committee.
Their exclusion is also hampered with the unavailability of Josh Hodgson (thumb, Round 17) and Joey Leilua (neck, season) but Kiwi winger Jordan Rapana should be in line to return on the wing after missing the past few weeks with a knee injury.
Luke Bateman (knee) is also closing in on a return for the Raiders, and may be named by Stuart to return as part of the extended squad listed on Tuesday.
Nick Cotric, Jack Wighton and Josh Papalii will all play in Wednesday's State of Origin series opener and will be assessed for their possible inclusion post-match.
Wests Tigers and Canberra will name their extended squads for Friday's game at 4:00pm AEST on Tuesday, with two players omitted 24 hours before kickoff.
Final team lists will be confirmed one hour prior to kickoff (6:50pm, Friday).
Match: Wests Tigers v Raiders
Round 13 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS