Kevin Naiqama capable of captaining Wests Tigers in NRL, says Aaron Woods

Former Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods as endorsed Fiji skipper Kevin Naiqama as the man to succeed him at the NRL club next season.

Tigers coach Ivan Cleary is yet to settle on a new captain following the prop’s switch to Canterbury, but the conundrum is potentially resolving itself throughout the World Cup with Naiqama having led Fiji to a semi-final following Saturday’s unprecedented win over heavyweights New Zealand.

The pair played for three seasons alongside each other at the Tigers, and Woods said the 28-year-old’s efforts during the World Cup proved he was capable of captaining in club land.

“Kevvy’s a leader at the Wests Tigers, he always has been,” Woods said.

"Not many people see what he does away from the game, how he prepares to get his body right for the game and the study he does with the video and through our sessions, he’s pretty vocal.

"It’s no surprise for me to see how well Kevvy’s going, but it’s good for everyone else to see it.

"To see him captain his country, he’s a very proud Fijian, he always goes back there at the end of every season. If we get a five-, six-day break during the year he’ll go over there. Just to see the way he spoke after the game, he’s got teary eyes.

"They’re a second-tier side and to beat New Zealand the first time they played them in a World Cup, I’m very proud of Kevin.

“He’s an absolute professional and deserves every moment he’s getting. It’s going to be difficult playing against him on the weekend being a really close mate, but we’ve got a job to do.”

Saturday’s semi-final also pits Woods up against his old coach Mick Potter, who had the reins of the Tigers for two season before he was sacked in 2014.

He took charge of Fiji last season and has done a superb job in moulding the tier-two nation into one of the standout teams at this year’s tournament.

“Pottsy’s a pretty cruisy guy away from footy, but once you’re on that paddock he’s a very intense guy,” Woods said.

“I’ve got a couple of mates over there and they’re really enjoying their time under Mick. It’s awesome to see him back into coaching and going really well again.”

Friday’s clash at Suncorp Stadium will mark the first time World Cup winner Jarryd Hayne has played against Australia since rejoining Fiji, barring last month’s three-nations warm-up match in Suva.

The Gold Coast Titan has scored two tries playing at five-eighth for Potter’s side this tournament, and Woods said his NSW Origin teammate still had the ability to be a game breaker.

“The big games bring it out in Jarryd, he’ll be really excited for this weekend taking on Australia, he’s played for Australia, he’s won a World Cup with Australia,” Woods said.

"We haven’t really sat down and spoke about it. Haynesy’s at his best when he’s just playing what’s in front of him. He could be anywhere to be honest, we’ll just prepare what we can do best.

“We can’t focus on one player we’ve got to worry about everyone else. If we can control what we can do it’s going to help us. I’m sure Jarryd will be up for a big game this weekend.”

Fiji’s win over New Zealand on Saturday was the second time in two weeks the Kiwis were beaten by a tier-two nation.

He’d be better than Sharon…

I was really hoping I’d never read another article that mentioned that moron who captained us. Here he goes again.


He’d be better than Sharon…

He would but he shouldn’t even be considered for the role.


I was really hoping I’d never read another article that mentioned that moron who captained us. Here he goes again.

Who asked for Woods opinion….shut up and get out of the WT #2041… you are not welcome here

If Aaron can do the job , any one can

But then again what’s Aaron’s win % as captain , not anywhere near 50 %

I suppose you could give Kevie the job , but the trainers are going to get real annoyed bringing the stool /megaphone and hairbrush on and off the field so the players can hear him

I’m sure Woods is right in his appraisal of Kev’s captaining ability - he would know. However, the captain needs to be guaranteed a spot in the starting side and I really can’t see Kev being guaranteed a spot in our backline every week.

Oh …Woods is serious…

No thanks i would rather someone who will get picked for first grade each week.

Woods has to much to say about a lot of issues ,the new Mr Quote go to man for lazy journalists.

Who will be our Captain or Captains in 2018???

Woods is a Bulldog. Why is the bludger talking about our club like he’s part of it?
His opinion is as valid as a Queenslander advocating Pearce for Origin.

Wake up Woods, go have some more café lattes in your little knitting group.

When compared to Woods the lady in the food cart at LO is capable of captaining.

WC fluff piece by lazy jurno’s.

Aaron confirms the fact that one doesn’t have to be smart to be a smartarse.Seems like a lame attempt to stay relevant a la Tony Abbott.

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