Five young guns will feature as Development Players for Wests Tigers in the 2020 season including two new faces in exciting Queensland duo Jake Simpkin and Reece Hoffman.
Simpkin and Hoffman join the club after starring for Wynnum-Manly in the Hastings Deering Colts competition in 2019 while also helping the Queensland U/18's side to a strong win over New South Wales earlier in the year.
A Southern Suburbs Tigers junior, Simpkin will feature as a Development Player in 2020 before moving in to the full-time squad in 2021 while Hoffman will feature as a Development Player for two seasons before stepping up in 2022.
Development Players will train full-time with the NRL squad throughout the pre-season and regular season, but are not eligible to play first-grade until Round 17.
Wests Tigers have seen good success with the progression of Development Players through to the full-time squad in the past two years — the club's Rookie of the Year this season in Thomas Mikaele was a Development Player in 2018 while Tommy Talau made his NRL debut this year in his first season as a Development Player.
Three Development Players from 2019 will also return for their second year in the squad in 2020 with Jock Madden, Kane Bradley and Zac Cini all progressing.
Madden and Bradley were regulars for the club's Canterbury Cup side throughout the year despite being Jersey Flegg-eligible, while Cini's strong form in his first year with the club saw the centre move in to the Development squad during 2019.
The club's 2020 Development Players and younger squad members will return for pre-season training in mid November before the remainder of the squad returns in the ensuing weeks following their various representative commitments.
2020 DEVELOPMENT PLAYERS
Jock Madden — Halfback, 2nd Year Development Player
Kane Bradley — Wing/Second Row, 2nd Year Development Player
Zac Cini — Centre/Wing, 2nd Year Development Player
Reece Hoffman — Centre, 1st Year Development Player
Jake Simpkin — Hooker, 1st Year Development Player