AAPSeptember 2, 2015, 5:45 pm
The Wests Tigers are set to field one of the youngest squads in NRL history next season should unwanted skipper Robbie Farah sever ties with his childhood club at the end of the year. Experienced duo Pat Richards and Keith Galloway are headed to Super League this summer, while the off-contract Dene Halatau is yet to re-sign with the club beyond the current campaign. Throw in Farah’s imminent exit and veteran Chris Lawrence stands to be the only player over 26 when the 2016 season kicks off next year.
Second-rower Curtis Sironen says that reason alone that should entice the club to backtrack on its decision to allow its longest-serving player to walk away from Concord to find a new team. “We don’t really have too many senior players around at the moment,” Sironen said. "With guys like Keith and Patty leaving, we need someone to fill that void. "I don’t think there’s anyone better than Robbie. “As a friend, I hope he is still around. He’s a State of Origin player and a leader of our club.”
Coach Jason Taylor has been unwavering in his belief that his side has improved on last year’s 13th-placed finish, yet the Tigers remain in equal last spot with one game remaining in the regular season. However, Sironen said the ladder position didn’t reflect the steady upgrades they’ve made as a team under Taylor tenure. “We’d just have a couple of weeks where it just won’t gel and we’ll come up against some strong sides who are playing semi-final footy and then it’ll dampen us a bit and we’ll have our heads down a bit,” he said. “But I think we have (improved).”
Under-20s star Te Maire Martin and the injury-prone Tim Moltzen will also depart the club at the end of the season, while Manly pair Michael Chee Kam and Jack Littlejohn are the only notable signings arriving in the pre-season.
Sea Eagles hooker Matt Ballin, 31, has been mooted as a possible replacement for Farah should the embattled captain leave at season’s end.