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Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire has spoken about the significance of Indigenous Round for the club and how important it is for the game to celebrate and recognise all Indigenous people involved in rugby league.

Maguire is also pleased to see the return of James Roberts for the clash against St George Illawarra at Bankwest Stadium — and how fitting it is that the Indigenous star will return in such a significant round.

“He [Roberts] is in really good spirts and in a great shape. It’s probably the best I’ve seen him in a long time,” Maguire said.

“We all know the significance of the Indigenous Round and it’s a great occasion for him to come back in.

“If he can come out and do his job for the team, it will be a great addition for us.

“Mentally, he’s been very strong since coming back. Physically, he’s had a couple of niggles but he’s got his body in really good shape and I’m looking forward to having him back.

Laurie excited to play in his first Indigenous Round

“I’ve known him a long time and to bring that experience back in is going to be good for the team.”

Maguire believes the return of ‘Jimmy the Jet’ will lift the boys as they face the Dragons at Bankwest Stadium.

“With his experience, it will definitely lift the boys — to bring a quality player in is a boost,” the coach said.

“Jimmy is focussed on what he can do for the team and he’s playing on the wing. He’ll do whatever the team needs

“He’s helping the younger players and taking on a mentoring role.” preview Dragons clash

Indigenous Round is an important round for Wests Tigers as the club and the NRL aim to highlight significant social issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It is also an opportunity for the game to cement the commitment to the Indigenous community and celebrate the unique relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and rugby league.

“This game is definitely a big occasion from an Indigenous point of view,” Maguire said.

“We’ve put a big emphasis on building the culture around here;

“Awabakal have come on board and have been fantastic in the background. They’re a special part of who we are. This is a special weekend for us.

“We’ve brought in a lot of Indigenous players into our team and they’re a big part of what the Wests Tigers are about.”

Acknowledgement of Country

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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