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Wests Tigers will field a team in the Andrew Johns Cup Grand Final this weekend for the very first time, a sure sign that the club’s Pathways Program is delivering results.

The past twelve months has seen the club invest heavily in player development, with the long-term goal of identifying and retaining local talent.

The investment includes key appointments including that of Head of Pathways, Matthew Betsey and Pathways Coaching Manager, Brett Kimmorley.  The Pathways team also includes the likes of Balmain great Paul Sironen and former Wests Tigers fullback Shannon Gallant.

Wests Tigers Premiership winning coach Tim Sheens has recently returned to the club as Director of Football and is heavily involved in the Pathways strategy.

“The club is thrilled to have our team competing in this weekend’s Grand Final at St Marys.

“The coaching staff have worked extremely hard since October last year to bring this group of players together.

NRL Wests Tigers wishing the Andrew Johns Cup team luck

To see the hard work pay off to this point is great, not just for the Andrew Johns Squad but also for the Wests Tigers Pathways team

 

“The most pleasing thing about the Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cups success this season, is that every single player is local, either from the Group 6 or Wests Tigers Macarthur Junior Rugby League. I wish the boys the very best of luck this weekend.”

Betsey says even though the Pathways Program has a long-term vision, the short-term results are impressive.

“We are starting to see some early indications that the club’s investment is coming to fruition.

“Having the Macarthur Wests Tigers make the finals in both the Andrew Johns Cup and Laurie Daley Cup competitions is a fantastic reward for the effort everyone has made to re-connect with the greater south-west rugby league community.

“We’ve got some great people helping on many levels.  Benji (Marshall) is also playing an active role when and where he can which is terrific.”

Development Manager, Gallant is extremely proud of the rapid development.

“We’ve invested a lot more into the Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cups this year and we are now seeing the rewards.

“I think as a club we are doing a great job in development.  The kids want to be a part of the programs and that comes from putting the right coaching staff around them and the right resources.”

Macarthur Wests Tigers (Under 16’s) will take on defending premiers Northern Rivers Titans at St Mary’s Leagues Club Stadium on Sunday.

The team lost its first two games of the season but finished with three wins in a row to make the finals.

Lead by fullback and captain Noah McKenzie, the Tigers defeated the Northern Tigers 22-16 last weekend to qualify for the Grand Final.

McKenzie has a number of highly talented players around him including, the likes of Sonny Edwards-Moeke, Kurtis Dupond, Callum McMenemy, and Aaron Keppie.

Kick off on Sunday is at 10am. The Andrew Johns Cup Grand Final will also be live-streamed on the NSWRL website – nswrl.com.au

The club’s Jersey Flegg (Under 21) and NSW Cup games which were to be played at Lidcombe Oval, will now be played at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday evening.

Other Wests Tigers games this weekend:

 

Jersey Flegg 

Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters

6.30pm, Sunday 3rd April @ Leichhardt Oval

 

Knock On Effect NSW Cup - live-streamed on NSWRL.com.au

Western Suburbs Magpies v North Sydney Bears 

8pm, Sunday 3rd April @ Leichhardt Oval

 

Harold Matthews Cup (u17):

Balmain Tigers v Cronulla 

9.30am, Saturday 2nd April @ Leichhardt Oval

Manly Sea Eagles v Western Suburbs Magpies

10.00am, Saturday 2nd April @ 4 Pines Park, Brookvale

 

SG Ball Cup (u19):

Balmain Tigers v Cronulla 

11.00am, Saturday 2nd April @ Leichhardt Oval

Manly Sea Eagles v Western Suburbs Magpies

11.30am, Saturday 2nd April @ 4 Pines Park, Brookvale

 

Tarsha Gale Cup

Wests Tigers v South Sydney Rabbitohs 

2.30pm, Saturday 2nd April @ Leichhardt Oval

 

Harvey Norman Women

Wests Tigers v Wentworthville Magpies (trial)

4pm, Saturday 2nd April @ Leichhardt Oval

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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