Here you go:
A new face will soon arrive at Wests Tigers but could it soon be followed by a more familiar one? The ink is not yet dry on gun youngster Jake Simpkin’s deal but talk has already turned to whether Tim Sheens could also be making a return to Leichhardt, with the former coach becoming available just as the club seeks a new head of football.
The joint-venture outfit has just signed teenaged Broncos hooker Jake Simpkin, considered one of the best young dummy-halves in the country and earmarked as the long-term replacement for Robbie Farah, on a three-year deal.
Tigers fans will get their first chance to see him play when he runs out for Queensland 18s in the State of Origin curtain-raiser on Wednesday night.
The Broncos had been grooming the 17-year-old for higher honours at feeder club Wynnum-Manly until the Tigers got under their guard. Simpkin’s imminent departure has prompted Brisbane to re-sign Corey Paix, a rising halfback who could be turned into a hooker to eventually take over from Andrew McCullough.
The development comes as former Tigers coach Tim Sheens reportedly parted company with Super League battlers Hull KR. The Tigers are seeking a replacement for departing head of football Kelly Egan, with a host of candidates lining up for the position. Canterbury’s former pathways performance manager, Andrew Patmore, has been linked to the post but a committee tasked with appointing Kelly’s successor has not yet done so.
Sheens, who handed Tigers coach Michael Maguire his NRL playing debut as a player when they were both at the Raiders in the 1990s, could become a surprise option. Sheens led the club to their only premiership, in 2005, before an ugly split ultimately resulted in the club paying him a settlement. But given prodigal sons Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah have returned, Sheens - who was earmarked as a potential head of football candidate at Cronulla before the job went to Phil Moss - could be in the frame for a return.
“No one has to remind me of the bona fides of Tim Sheens, but we’ve formed a committee and there’s a process to go through,” said Tigers chairman Barry O’Farrell.
“There are already many well credentialled candidates that have expressed an interest and we’ll consider all of the applicants.”
There could be a further change at the Tigers. As revealed by the Herald last month, the Tigers have emerged as the likely home for out-of-favour Panther Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. With little salary cap room this year, the Tigers would likely have to arrange a player swap in order for the move to happen before June 30. The club is hoping Panthers mentor Ivan Cleary is prepared to take one of the players he recruited to Concord during his Tigers stint - such as Josh Reynolds, Russell Packer, Elijah Taylor, Ben Matulino - in a trade deal.
“Dallin is a great player, there is word that he’s coming but I’m not too sure what’s going on there,” said Tigers halfback Luke Brooks. “At the same time, we have some great outside backs here.”
Winger David Nofoaluma added: “He’s a quality player. If he was to be here he adds more quality to the team, but for the time being we’ll focus on the group we have here and try to win some games.”