Just over seven months after winning a premiership with them, Ryan Matterson looms as the Wests Tigers’ ‘Plan C’ to stop the Sydney Roosters on Saturday.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire admits preparing for “everything” after revealing Benji Marshall is in doubt to return from a nagging hamstring injury at the SCG.
Marshall was named to replace another injured five-eighth in Josh Reynolds, leaving Maguire searching for a third option to face the reigning premiers.
“At the moment, we’ll assess him over the next two days. I’ve obviously named Benj to play,” Maguire said on Thursday.
"But we’ll actually assess him and make sure everything’s okay.
“I’m not going to take a risk but at the moment I’m pretty keen to see Benji running around. But as a group, we’ll prepare for everything.”
Marshall hasn’t played since failing to finish their loss to Canterbury in round three, but has participated in most of their training sessions this week.
“He’s been running and doing everything. It’s just the top-end stuff now, we’ve got to make sure that that’s right,” Maguire said.
"When you’ve got a bit of age and history, they’re the tricky parts and the things you’ve got to look out for.
“It’s something we’re definitely aware of over the next 24 hours.”
Should the 34-year-old Marshall fail to recover in time, Maguire is likely to deploy Matterson in the halves against his old club.
Matterson was primarily used as a utility under Roosters coach Trent Robinson, having played on the wing, centres, halves and in the forwards.
The 24-year-old was shifted to five-eighth to cover for Reynolds in their comeback win over Gold Coast last week, when they came back from 14 points down to win.
“Matto came in and he did a really good job for us actually. I thought (Luke Brooks) really stood up for us as well,” Maguire said.
"Having Robbie Farah is a handy one for us as well to lead us around the park. I thought those boys really gelled together once we had that mishap with Josh.
“We’ve got a few there that we can change around, so we’ll see how we go.”