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Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire says he is looking forward to seeing Jock Madden make his NRL debut on Friday night and believes the playmaker’s inclusion in the NRL side is an example of what the club is building.  

Madden will become Wests Tigers Player #244 after he was named on the bench to make his first-grade debut against the Newcastle Knights for the Magic Round clash at Suncorp Stadium.

“Young Jock is a player who has worked his backside off to get into this position,” Maguire said.

“He’s always the last on the field doing his practice, so it’s a well-deserved opportunity for him and I’m looking forward to him making his debut.

“He’s like a lot of the other younger players that we’ve been bringing through. We’re showing that there is change in and around the club. We’ve got a number a great young guys.”

Maguire also welcomes back two young guns to his side in Magic Round with Shawn Blore and Tommy Talau named in the 17.

Mbye discusses team changes for Magic Round

Blore will play his first NRL game of the season after he missed the start of the campaign with a wrist injury, while Talau returns from a one-week suspension.

“Shawn has performed well in the games that he’s played in reserve grade. He’s another player that comes into the fold,” Maguire said.

“Tommy is back too, so I’ve got a good crop of younger players coming through. They are learning and gaining a lot of experience through this period.”

Although Wests Tigers have just two wins to their name in 2021, Maguire said his players have bonded together and eager to turn things around.

“What I’m seeing amongst the group is a strong bond and when you face a little bit of adversity, it brings you together — that’s what we need to show,” he said.

“The players are very passionate about the club — we all are.”

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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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