Wests Tigers recruit Ken Maumalo is expecting an emotional encounter when he faces his former club, the Warriors, for the first time on Friday night.
The big winger joined Wests Tigers just over a month ago after 107 NRL games across seven seasons for the Warriors.
“It’s going to be a big match playing against my old team,” Maumalo said.
“It’s going to be a different experience. I played with a lot of them for many years, through the juniors. It’s going to be an emotional game for me.
“We’re friends off the field, but it’s a different story on the field. I’m just looking forward to it.”
Maumalo also understands the Round 20 clash at Suncorp Stadium will be an emotional evening for his former team as they farewell club legend Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
The former skipper won’t be in attendance at the match as he returns to New Zealand to beat the border closure ahead of his conversion to rugby union.
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“I think they’ll want to send off Roger on a high note,” Maumalo said.
“I reckon they’ll turn up for the game and show what Roger meant to the club and the team. I’m expecting a big one.”
The Wests Tigers winger was looking forward to taking the field with Tuivasa-Sheck for one last time but wished his New Zealand counterpart all the best.
“It sucks he has to go out this way, but I guess under the circumstances we’re in at the moment, it was best for him to go home,” Maumalo said.
“He’s going to leave a massive legacy on New Zealand rugby league.
“I messaged him and said I’m excited for him to get back to his family and wished him all the best for next year.”
Match: Wests Tigers v Warriors
Round 20 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane