Wests Tigers Head Coach Mick Potter has today announced two squads for the upcoming NRL trial matches against Penrith and Parramatta next Saturday, February 8.
The match against Penrith will take place at Kirkham Oval, Camden, while the team to play Parramatta will travel to Alice Springs.
The crowd in South-West Sydney will see the likes of Robbie Farah, Braith Anasta and local junior James Tedesco run out on to Kirkham Oval to tackle the Panthers.
New recruits Blake Austin, Martin Taupau, Keith Lulia and Cory Paterson will take the field in Wests Tigers colours for the first time, along with returning crowd favourites Dene Halatau and Pat Richards.
Alice Springs will also see their fair share of NRL squad members for the match against Parramatta including Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jack Buchanan and Ava Seumanufagai, plus also getting the first chance to see recruit Yileen Gordon in action.
Potter said both trials are crucial in getting a gauge on his team’s preparation.
“I’m looking forward to the first trials of the new year and we’ve put together strong squads for both games,” he said. “I’m looking for players with attitude, players that want to build pressure on the opposition. I’m looking for aggression, looking for that attitude that winners have.
“The squad for the trial in Camden provides a good mix of experience, youth and new recruits,” said Potter. “I’m looking forward to getting back out to Camden and meeting some old friends, I can’t wait to see the locals fill the ground and provide a great atmosphere.
“For the Alice Springs trial we’ve got some young guys going up who need some game time, it’s going to be a tough game and the local community is crying out for Rugby League and we’re sending a lot of players,” he said.
Squad to play Penrith: > Braith Anasta, Blake Austin, Adam Blair, Robbie Farah, Asipeli Fine, James Gavet, Dene Halatau, Marika Koroibete, Chris Lawrence, Keith Lulia, Mitchell Moses, David Nofoaluma, Cory Paterson, Pat Richards, Kurtis Rowe, Curtis Sironen, Martin Taupau, James Tedesco, Bodene Thompson, Aaron Woods.
Squad to play Parramatta: > Sitaleki Akauola, Sonny Bristow, Corey Brown, Jack Buchanan, Michael Bullock, Jarred Farlow, Andy Fiagatusa, Yileen Gordon, Jy Hitchcox, Sam Hollis, Inno Innosesio, Joel Luani, Allan McGrath, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Ava Seumanufagai, Setefano Taukafa, Nathan Waters, Luke Williams.
Judging by those squads obviously the top players are against Penrith and the players taking on Parramatta are the fringe/lower grade players. Does this mean Buchanan, BMM, and Ava are out of favour?