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Early team news for Round 1

All eyes will be firmly fixed on the team sheet tomorrow ahead of Wests Tigers' season opener against the Canberra Raiders, with a number of positions still seemingly up for grabs after the trials.

New recruit Daine Laurie's potential inclusion will be the catalyst for a number of positions, with the livewire playmaker capable of playing fullback — where he starred against the Sea Eagles — in the halves or off the bench.

Adam Doueihi's one-game suspension opens the door for someone to partner Luke Brooks in the halves, with rookie Jock Madden also in contention for the number six jersey alongside Moses Mbye, who is expected to be available from injury.

Mbye sat out the last trial with a minor hamstring complaint but his expected availability will also be a telling point in potential player selections.

Wests Tigers new recruit James Roberts
Wests Tigers new recruit James Roberts ©NRL Photos

James Roberts and David Nofoaluma appear to have the right wing partnership locked in they both scored against the Sea Eagles a fortnight ago, while Joey Leilua will return to the side at left centre after sitting out the final trial game. AJ Kepaoa and Tommy Talau both played strongly against Manly and could start on the wing.

Up front there's also plenty of selection intrigue with Shawn Blore (injury) and Zane Musgrove (suspension) the only two forwards not available for selection.

Tamou feeling the love from Wests Tigers fans

Captain James Tamou and fellow new recruit Joe Ofahengaue appear set to start after trialling well in the front row, while Alex Twal, Stefano Utoikamanu, Russell Packer, Thomas Mikaele, Tuki Simpkins, Alex Seyfarth and Tom Amone are all vying for additional spots throughout the middle forwards.

Jacob Liddle started the second trial at hooker and looked lively alongside the starting forwards, while rookie Jake Simpkin certainly did his chances at selection no harm with his side's final try in the 52-16 thrashing over the Silvertails.

For the Raiders, Coach Ricky Stuart will be without forward duo Corey Horsburgh and Corey Harawira-Naera after they both received game suspensions by the NRL, while captain Jarrod Croker is likely to return from his shoulder injury.

Sebastian Kris and Harley Smith-Shields shared the left-centre duties in Canberra's most recent trial in Croker's absence and will play should he not be available.

Star hooker Josh Hodgson played the first half in his first game back since Round 9 and is gunning to play the full 80 minutes against Wests Tigers on Sunday.

Both sides will name their Round 1 teams at 4:00pm AEDT on Tuesday before providing an updated 19-man squad on Saturday afternoon.

Final team lists will then be confirmed one hour before kickoff (3:05pm, Sunday).

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Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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