Wests Tigers winger Reece Hoffman will become Wests Tigers Player #234 after he was named by Coach Michael Maguire to make his first-grade debut against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Having trained all week with the squad, Hoffman was officially told the news after training on Thursday, with the 19-year-old called on to the wing in place of Tommy Talau, who will miss Friday's game with a minor hamstring complaint.
A Wynnum Manly Seagulls junior, Hoffman will become the third player to make their NRL debut under Maguire this year following Alex Seyfarth and Sam McIntyre.
Hoffman joined Wests Tigers ahead of the 2020 season from the Seagulls as part of a three-year contract. The first of those two years would see the talented teenager feature as a Development Player — where players train full-time but cannot play first-grade until after Round 16 — before joining the full NRL squad in 2022.
Revised measures under COVID-19 this year have allowed for Development Players to make their debut immediately if required, as in Hoffman's case.
Born in Brisbane, Hoffman first rose to prominence with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the Hastings Deering Colts competition before making the transition to the Intrust Super Cup competition as an 18-year-old late last year.
In his debut appearance for the Seagulls' reserve-grade side, Hoffman finished with 111 metres and a try in a quality performance that signalled bigger things to come.
Equally adept at playing at centre or on the wing, Hoffman's powerful frame and strong physique also saw him earn selection in the victorious Queensland U/18's side in 2019 alongside Wests Tigers teammate Jake Simpkin.
"It's obviously exciting and a dream come true," Hoffman said ahead of his debut.
"Madge just told me that I'd worked hard for it and that I'm ready.
"It's pretty good to hear that coming from the Coach.
"I didn't know if this would come this year, but I just wanted to work hard and learn as much as I could."
|Date of Birth||22nd May, 2001|
|Place of Birth||Brisbane, QLD|
|Junior Club||Wynnum Manly Seagulls|