Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire has named five club debutants as part of a 21-man squad to take on the St. George-Illawarra Dragons in Round 1 this Sunday, March 15.
Joey and Luciano Leilua have both been named to start alongside each other for their first NRL game together, while fellow new recruits Adam Doueihi, Billy Walters and Zane Musgrove have also been included in the extended 21-man squad.
Doueihi will start in the centres with co-captain Moses Mbye ruled out with injury, while Walters has been named at hooker with Musgrove on the bench.
After an impressive 2019 campaign that saw him voted as the Players' Player of the Year, Corey Thompson will start at fullback with David Nofoaluma and Robert Jennings rounding out the back five with spots on the wing.
Press Conference: David Nofoaluma
Young props Josh Aloiai and Alex Twal both earning starting spots, along with Elijah Taylor who will feature at lock, with Thomas Mikaele, Zane Musgrove and Chris Lawrence all named on the bench. With Walters starting at hooker, Josh Reynolds also joins the bench in jersey 15 with Michael Chee Kam, Oliver Clark, Matt Eisenhuth and Paul Momirovski all named as reserves.
Co-captain Benji Marshall will officially lead the side out on Sunday with Mbye unavailable as Wests Tigers look to win their sixth consecutive season opener.
For the Dragons, as expected it is Isaac Luke who starts in place of the injured Cameron McInnes while Trent Merrin has been named on the bench in his return to the club with former Rabbitoh Billy Brittain as the back-up hooker.
Brayden Wiliame has beaten Euan Aitken for a starting centre spot while Josh Kerr (knee) is named on the extended reserves list with Korbin Sims (arm) unavailable.
Both sides will provide an updated 19-man squads at 6:15pm on Saturday before finalising their 17-man team list one hour prior to kickoff (5:15pm, Sunday).
Match: Dragons v Wests Tigers
Round 1 -
Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Zac LomaxFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Corey Thompson
Winger for Dragons is number 2 Jordan PereiraWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
Centre for Dragons is number 3 Brayden WiliameCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Joseph Leilua
Centre for Dragons is number 4 Tim LafaiCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Adam Doueihi
Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele RavalawaWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Robert Jennings
Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey NormanFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben HuntHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 15 Josh Reynolds
Prop for Dragons is number 8 James GrahamProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 Josh Aloiai
Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Issac LukeHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Billy Walters
Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul VaughanProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
Lock for Dragons is number 13 Blake LawrieLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Elijah Taylor
Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Trent MerrinInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Thomas Mikaele
Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Tyrell FuimaonoInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Zane Musgrove
Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Billy BrittainInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Chris Lawrence
Interchange for Dragons is number 21 Josh KerrInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Michael Chee-Kam
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Referee: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Peter Gough
- Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell