Wests Tigers have today officially farewelled five players who will depart the club at the end of the 2021 NRL season.
Following the club's final game of the regular season against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Sunday, Wests Tigers have paid tribute to five players — Billy Walters, Joey Leilua, Michael Chee Kam, Moses Mbye and Russell Packer — who will all finish up with the club at the conclusion of this year.
Wests Tigers would like to thank all five players for their respective contributions during their time with the club, and wish them all the best for the future.
Billy Walters — WT #228
10 games for Wests Tigers (2020-21)
Having debuted for the Melbourne Storm in 2019, Billy Walters joined Wests Tigers at the start of the 2020 season and quickly made his mark in the side — featuring in the opening two matches of the year before the temporary suspension of the competition due to COVID. The versatile utility would go on to play eight games for the club in 2020 before returning to the NRL arena again in 2021 for a further two appearances. Having been born in Brisbane, Billy will link up with his father, Kevin, in 2022 after signing a deal to join the Brisbane Broncos.
Joey Leilua — WT #226
21 games for Wests Tigers (2020-21)
A 200-game veteran with vast international experience for Samoa, Leilua joined the club ahead of the 2020 season after narrowly missing out on Grand Final success with Canberra the year prior. Leilua would feature in 14 games for Wests Tigers during 2020 — scoring four tries and four try assists that included the club's Try of the Year against the Gold Coast Titans in Round 4. The Hurstville junior played a further seven NRL games for the club in 2021, taking his career total to 225 games.
Michael Chee Kam — WT #194
89 games for Wests Tigers (2016-21)
Michael Chee Kam joined Wests Tigers from the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in 2016, soon becoming a regular in the side with his versatility to play in either the back row or centres. Earning his representative debut for Samoa during his time with the club, Chee Kam will depart Wests Tigers having played 89 games in Wests Tigers colours — taking his career total to 93 games.
Moses Mbye — WT #218
63 games for Wests Tigers (2018-21)
Moses Mbye joined Wests Tigers in a mid-year switch from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2018, scoring three tries in nine matches after continuing his good form at fullback. Named captain of the club for the start of the 2019 season, Mbye played 17 and 15 games respectively over the following two years as he showcased his versatility by playing a number of positions — capped off by his selection in the Maroons Origin squad in 2019.
Having celebrated his 150th NRL game earlier this year, Mbye will join the St. George-Illawarra Dragons in 2022 having played 63 games for Wests Tigers.
Russell Packer — WT #210
33 games for Wests Tigers (2018-21)
Russell Packer joined Wests Tigers in 2018 and went on to play 19 games in his first season with the club, recording 11 wins and eight losses while also featuring as part of a five-man captaincy group. Injuries would unfortunately hamper the Kiwi international throughout his remaining seasons with the club, playing six and seven games respectively in the following two years. He would play his final representative fixture for the Maori All Stars at the start of the 2021 season, before chalking up his final NRL appearance for the club in Round 1 earlier this year.
Last week, Packer announced his official retirement from the NRL at season's end, having played a total of 184 games in his career. He and his family will return home to New Zealand where he will continue his work as the Managing Director of a residential development company, Capestone Developments.