With the 2018 season drawing nearer, we will begin to look at how each team is shaping up for the season ahead.

Today, we take a look at the Wests Tigers – and what their best 17 looks like.

Wests Tigers 2018 Player Movements

2018 Gains
Oliver Clark (Penrith Panthers, 2020), Robbie Farah (South Sydney Rabbitohs, 2019), Mahe Fonua (Hull FC, 2019), Tyson Gamble (2019), Luke Garner (2019), Heath Gibbs (2018), Pita Godinet (Manly Sea Eagles, 2018), Tuimoala Lolohea (New Zealand Warriors, 2021), Benji Marshall (Brisbane Broncos, 2019), Ben Matulino (New Zealand Warriors, 2020), Moses Mbye (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2022), Sam McIntyre (2019), Chris McQueen (Gold Coast Titans, 2020), Thomas Mikaele (2019), Taane Milne (St George Illawarra Dragons, 2018), Russell Packer (St George Illawarra Dragons, 2021), Josh Reynolds (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2021), Robbie Rochow (Melbourne Storm, 2019), Dylan Smith (2019), Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings, 2019), Alex Twal (Parramatta Eels, 2020), Malakai Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers, 2019)
2018 Losses
Matt Ballin (retired), Joel Edwards (released), Justin Hunt (retired), Jamal Idris (retired), Jack Littlejohn (Salford Red Devils), Kyle Lovett (Leigh Centurions), Jeremy Marshall-King (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels), Ryan Papenhuyzen (Melbourne Storm), Jordan Rankin (Huddersfield Giants), Ava Seumanufagai (Cronulla Sharks), Moses Suli (Manly Sea Eagles), Tevita Tatola (South Sydney Rabbitohs), James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters), Aaron Woods (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Josh Aloiai (2019), Luke Brooks (2023), Michael Chee-Kam (2019), Matthew Eisenhuth (2020), Tim Grant (2019), Jacob Liddle (2019), Matt McIlwrick (2019), Kevin Naiqama (2021), David Nofoaluma (2021), Elijah Taylor (2020)
Off Contract 2019
Josh Aloiai, Michael Chee-Kam, Robbie Farah, Mahe Fonua, Tyson Gamble, Luke Garner, Chris Lawrence, Jacob Liddle, Benji Marshall, Sam McIntyre, Thomas Mikaele, Robbie Rochow, Dylan Smith, Corey Thompson
SEE ALSO:  Unusual contract clause means Knights have the potential to fire Brown at any time

2018 Predicted Lineup

  1. Tuimoala Lolohea
  2. Kevin Naiqama
  3. Mahe Fonua
  4. Taane Milne
  5. David Nofoaluma
  6. Josh Reynolds
  7. Luke Brooks
  8. Ben Matulino
  9. Matt McIllwrick
  10. Russell Packer
  11. Chris McQueen
  12. Matthew Eisenhuth
  13. Elijah Taylor
  14. Benji Marshall
  15. Alex Twal
  16. Esan Marsters
  17. Sauaso Sue

Coach: Ivan Cleary

Reserves: Chris Lawrence, Josh Aloiai, Corey Thompson, Jacob Liddle.

The Big Question: Will the likes of Ben Matulino, Chris McQueen, Benji Marshall and Josh Reynolds be able to reinvent themselves under the tutelage of coach Ivan Cleary – or will the Tigers instead field the best New South Wales cup side of the 2018 NRL season?

Predicted Finish: 10th


  1. The line-up for round 1 will not even come close to this one….I bet my house on it!.

    just shows you what this mob know about the NRL….

  2. I would have Marsters in starting side which would then force the following

    1. Naiqama
    2. Fauna
    3. Marsters
    9. Reynolds

    Can’t see them finishing 10th, bottom 4. Have talent on paper but so many changes and Brooks at half still waiting to deliver consistently. Still issues at Tigerland

  3. Lawrence will be a starter and Eisenhuth plays in the middle not edge, and Marsters will probably drop out, cant have 2 utilities on the bench

  4. This will be it:

    2. Nofolomu
    3. Marsters
    4. Milne
    5. Corey Thompson
    6. Reynolds
    7. Brooks
    8. Matulino
    9. mcillrick
    10. Packer
    11. Mcqueen
    12. ETaylor
    13. Eisenhuth

    14. Marshall
    15. Twal
    16. Ailoia
    17. Felise/Grant/Sue

  5. That team would be competitive for the first 15-25 minutes, but once that bench came on, they would get destroyed.
    Somehow I don’t think this will be the line-up come round 1. Where are the bench forwards? 3 second rowers and a utility?

  6. Looks good on paper but lots of fresh faces. They should play alright tho lots of experience and the players know what they are doing.

    Think It’ll be more like
    1. Lolohea
    2. Nofoluma
    3. Naiquama
    4. Milne
    5. Thompson
    6. Reynolds
    7. Brooks
    8. Matalino
    9. McIllwrick
    10. Packer
    11. McQueen
    12. Lawrence
    13. Eiesenhuth

    14. Marshall
    15. Twal
    16. Sue
    17. Taylor

    2. MWZ
    3. Masters
    5. Fonua
    6. Godinet
    7. Gamble
    9. Liddle
    10. Grant
    11. Ailoia
    12. Felise
    13. Rochow

    14. Chee-Kam

    Lots and lots of depth, will have great feeder club side.

  7. Battle between the Balmain Magpies and Gold Coast for the Newcastle Spoon Award. If Reynolds gets injured you could probably throw in the smelly old rabbits also.

  8. Not sure if anyone has been watching trials or following the teams, but the team will NOT look like that. Lawrence is co-captain of the side and will have to be in the squad, even if it’s off the bench, though I highly doubt he won’t be run on. All reports suggest Malakai Watene-Zelezniak has been the best player in preseason, not just in the backs department.
    The team will line up something like this:
    1. Tuimoala Lolohea
    2. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak / Mahe Fonua
    3. Taane Milne
    4. Kevin Naiqama
    5. David Nofoaluma
    6. Josh Reynolds
    7. Luke Brooks
    8. Ben Matulino / Alex Twal
    9. Matt McIllwrick
    10. Russell Packer
    11. Chris Lawrence / Chris McQueen
    12. Elijah Taylor / Chris McQueen
    13. Elijah Taylor / Matt Eisenhuth
    14. Benji Marshall
    15. Which ever back rower misses out above ^ (Lawrence, McQueen or Eisenhuth)
    16. Suaso Sue
    17. Whoever doesn’t start out of Matulino and Twal
    18. Esan Marsters
    19. Tim Grant
    20. Josh Aloiai
    21. Mahe Fonua
    22. Corey Thompson
    23. Robbie Rochow
    24. JJ Felise
    25. Jacob Liddle

    The amount of depth this side has is insane. Throw in players like Tyson Gamble and Pita Godinet and you can almost field 2 teams in the comp. I still don’t see them making the 8. But expect them to compete with every team this year. I don’t see too many huge scorelines happening.

  9. 1. Tui
    2. Nofoaluma
    3. Milne
    4. Marsters
    5. MWZ/Thompson
    6. Reynolds (c)
    7. Brooks
    8. Twal/Matulino
    9. McIllwrick (Liddle when he returns from injury)
    10. Packer (c)
    11. Lawrence (c)
    12. ET (c)
    13. Eisenhuth

    14. Benji (c)/Gamble
    15. Aloiai
    16. Matulino/Twal
    17. Felise/Sue

    18. Gamble/Benji (c)
    19. Rochow
    20. Sue/Felise
    21. Thompson/MWZ
    This is by far our strongest side.

Comments are closed.