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Maguire to narrow Round 1 focus in Warriors trial

Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire will take a squad of 23 players to New Zealand this Sunday for the club's second and final trial match as the focus continues to narrow for Round 1.

With just three weeks remaining until the team's season opener against St. George-Illawarra on March 15 and a number of positions still up for grabs, Sunday's trial against the New Zealand Warriors will form a vital selection tool for Maguire having watched a number of the extended NRL squad in action last weekend.

Josh Reynolds, Billy Walters, Zane Musgrove, Adam Doueihi and Luciano Leilua all looked solid against the Penrith Panthers in their first real hit-out for 2020 and are certainly in the running for a spot in the club's Round 1 team.

The likes of Moses Mbye, David Nofoaluma, Corey Thompson, Luke Brooks, Benji Marshall, Chris Lawrence and Joey Leilua were all rested from the first trial and will come in to contention for the squad to take on the Warriors, which will be named by Maguire early this week before the squad flies to Rotorua.

2020 Match Replays: Trial, Penrith Panthers vs. Wests Tigers

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Having played a near first-grade side in the first half against Penrith before ringing a number of changes in the second half, Maguire said he was pleased the way his side started the game to have the scores level at 4-4 at the break while also highlighting the need for an improved overall performance next week.

"I was pleased with the first half but there's still plenty to work on," Maguire said. 

"I thought people like Zane Musgrove and Billy Walters performed at a high level for their first hit-out with the club. 

Wests Tigers forward Zane Musgrove in action against the Penrith Panthers
Wests Tigers forward Zane Musgrove in action against the Penrith Panthers ©Wests Tigers

"The second half we were off by a fair way," he admitted.

"I was very purposely giving everyone at the club a run at this level and then next week I'll take a squad of 23 to Rotorua so I'll be narrowing it down."

Wests Tigers will kick off against the New Zealand Warriors at 12:00pm AEDT on Sunday, March 1 from Rotorua International Stadium. Free live coverage of the match is available via www.weststigers.com.au while the match will also be broadcast via FOX League in Australia and Sky Sport in New Zealand.