Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire has named a strong 21-man squad for his side’s season opener against the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium this Sunday.
Five of the club’s new recruits will make their Wests Tigers debuts, with James Roberts also set to play his 150th career NRL game.
Roberts will form part of an exciting new backline for Wests Tigers in Round 1, with fellow new recruit Daine Laurie named to start at fullback. With Adam Doueihi (suspension) unavailable this week, Moses Mbye starts at five-eighth alongside Luke Brooks in the halves while AJ Kepaoa and Joseph Leilua form a new left-wing combination with Tommy Talau listed on the bench.
Up front, captain James Tamou and Joe Ofahengaue form a new front-row rotation with Maori All Stars representative Russell Packer joining Thomas Mikaele and Stefano Utoikamanu on the bench — the latter of whom will make his Wests Tigers debut.
Halfback Jock Madden joins fellow rookie Tuki Simpkins, Michael Chee Kam and Alex Seyfarth amongst the reserves as part of the 21-man squad.
Tamou excited to lead his new team into round 1
For the Raiders, Sebastian Kris is a left-field selection in place of co-captain Jarrod Croker (shoulder), beating out Matthew Timoko.
Veteran recruit Ryan James has been named in the No.17 jersey while Saliva Havili and Ryan Sutton have pushed gun young hooker Tom Starling and Emre Guler back to the reserves.
Forward duo Corey Horsburgh and Corey Harawira-Naera have both missed selection in the initial 21-man squad after being suspended for one and two weeks respectively over off-season drink-driving charges.
Both teams will provide an updated 19-man team list at 4:05pm AEDT on Saturday before finalising their 17-man team list one hour prior to kickoff (3:05pm, Sunday).
Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
Winger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey SimonssonWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
Centre for Raiders is number 3 Sebastian KrisCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 James Roberts
Centre for Raiders is number 4 Curtis ScottCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Joseph Leilua
Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan RapanaWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Asu Kepaoa
Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack WightonFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Moses Mbye
Halfback for Raiders is number 7 George WilliamsHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh PapaliiProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 James Tamou
Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh HodgsonHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
Prop for Raiders is number 10 Dunamis LuiProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Joe Ofahengaue
2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
Lock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph TapineLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex Twal
Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Siliva HaviliInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Tommy Talau
Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Ryan SuttonInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Iosia SoliolaInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Stefano Utoikamanu
Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Ryan JamesInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Russell Packer
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein