'Sky is the limit' for Tigers teen Talau, says delighted dad Willie



  • Willie Talau, a man who knows what it takes to carve out a career in the NRL, reckons “the sky is the limit” for his teenage son.

    The Wests Tigers named Tommy Talau to replace injured centre Moses Mbye for Thursday’s crucial clash against Manly at Brookvale. The 19-year-old is one of the club’s most promising playmakers and has already represented the Australian Schoolboys and NSW at under-18s State of Origin level. While he normally plays in the halves, coach Michael Maguire has slotted him into the three-quarter line for his NRL debut.

    If he has a fraction of the success of Willie Talau, then the Tigers have a good one on their hands. Talau snr made more than 100 first-grade appearances for Canterbury, represented the Kiwis 13 times and also had a distinguished career in the English Super League. The 43-year-old couldn’t be more proud to see Tommy get his opportunity.

    “I’m really excited for him,” Talau said. "He’s definitely got the work ethic. The sky is the limit for him.

    “I coached him at SG Ball and Harold Matts at the Bulldogs, as well as the stuff we do around home. Tommy is enthusiastic about his footy and is really easy to teach to be honest, he loves it. He takes on criticism well and tries to improve every week. That’s all you can ask for.”

    The Tigers signed Talau for this year after the five-eighth became the Bulldogs’ leading tryscorer en route to last year’s SG Ball grand final appearance. The Moorebank Rams junior has made the jump from Jersey Flegg to Canterbury Cup with the Tigers, averaging more than 100 metres and four tackle breaks per game, as well as scoring four tries in nine games. He gets to run out against the Sea Eagles after being upgraded to the club’s top-30 squad before the June 30 deadline.

    “Tommy is extremely competitive and just loves footy,” Willie Talau said. "He loves to learn about it, he’s a student of the game, always asking questions. He watches a lot of games on tele and tries to gather as much information as he can.

    “Tommy never supported a team when he grew up, he supported players. The Melbourne Storm players, he loved Cooper Cronk because he is a half. (Cameron) Munster and Billy Slater were among his favourites, all the exciting ones.”

    Tommy Talau didn’t feel any pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps, whether it be playing football or opting to leave Canterbury.

    “It’s weird, I’ve always just been dad,” Willie Talau said. "Our relationship, when I’m the coach I’m coach, but as far as what I’ve done before it just goes straight over the top of his head.

    "The decision to leave the Bulldogs was totally Tommy’s. He thought he needed to go somewhere fresh, he was 18 turning 19 and I thought it was time to make his own decisions.

    "It was no disrespect to the Dogs, he just wanted a fresh start somewhere else.

    "He got a great opportunity to do that with the Tigers and it just happened. He’s made the decision and backed himself.

    “On a personal note I’m over the moon for him. Obviously I have a great understanding of how hard it is to get there, all the effort and sacrifices that go into making your debut. It’s also the start of a career, so we’re excited and can’t wait to see him run out.”

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/sport/nrl/sky-is-the-limit-for-tigers-teen-talau-says-delighted-dad-willie-20190813-p52gr3.html



  • I’d love to know whether the club consider him a chance for 5/8 in the next 2 years.



  • What us he like in the halves? Anyone got a highlight reel?



  • @Masterton said in 'Sky is the limit' for Tigers teen Talau, says delighted dad Willie:

    I’d love to know whether the club consider him a chance for 5/8 in the next 2 years.

    Interesting question, he’s a big unit and will get bigger yet at only 19. A lot of it will come down to how well he adapts to FG, particularly defense - I reckon with his build be could well be a very handy ball playing 13, depends whether he holds his speed or slows down a bit. We all saw Curtis Sironen start off as a 6 before transitioning to the backrow - Talau could follow a similar path.



  • Looking forward to watching him play… Have a feeling he will kill it.



  • Would like a look at him in the halves, would solve a lot of problems



  • @851 said in 'Sky is the limit' for Tigers teen Talau, says delighted dad Willie:

    Would like a look at him in the halves, would solve a lot of problems

    Have you seen the size of the kid at 19 when he grows into his body he will be 6’3 105kgs.
    Almighty half five eight. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.



  • I’m just hoping he hits the top grade like a hammer hitting a grape. Frustrating that other clubs unearth superstars at 18 and ours take years to develop. Hoping this kid plays strong and just powers on from there. Go well young man!



  • @Tiger_Steve
    Gonna have a few youngens next year

    Could be a special one



  • @tony-soprano said in 'Sky is the limit' for Tigers teen Talau, says delighted dad Willie:

    @Tiger_Steve
    Gonna have a few youngens next year

    Could be a special one

    Gawd I hope so!



  • Never seen him play, is he quicker than any of our other backs? Not that any if our other backs are speedsters.





  • Hope he kills it



  • Well, the good thing is, that he still has 2 days to learn to tackle - hope he’s not on Suli’s side of the field.



  • @Russell said in 'Sky is the limit' for Tigers teen Talau, says delighted dad Willie:

    Well, the good thing is, that he still has 2 days to learn to tackle - hope he’s not on Suli’s side of the field.

    Not a fan?


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