SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: James Tamou of the Tigers runs onto the pitch during the NRL Trial match between the Wests Tigers and the Manly Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval on February 18, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Wests Tigers veteran prop James Tamou will play his 300th game this weekend, but isn't ready to hang the boots up yet.

The prop, who has struggled to find the levels he once did earlier in his career when he was a representative option, is the Tigers' sole captain for the back end of the year after interim coach Brett Kimmorley moved away from a model which saw Michael Maguire appoint five captains at the start of the year.

Tamou is off-contract at the end of the season with the Tigers, but the 33-year-old, who becomes the 45th player into the 300 club, has no plans to retire.

Speaking to SEN Radio, the veteran prop said he believes he can continue doing a job for the time being.

“It’s a decent feat,” Tamou said on SEN 1170 Mornings.

“The game has been around for over 100 years and to be the 45th player to reach that milestone is something special.

“The closer I’ve got to it, the more special it becomes.

“I still feel like I can compete and contribute to my team.

“Until the time comes where I look in the mirror and say my time is done, I think I’ll be able to keep going for now.”

The Palmerston North-born prop, who debuted and played 170 games for the Cowboys from 2009 to 2016, before shifting to the Panthers where he racked up another 97, has been with the Tigers since 2021.

He has been unable to hit the form he found at the Panthers, where he was part of a resurgent outfit that made the grand final in 2020 before jumping ship.

Despite that, Tamou has 14 Origins for New South Wales to go with 12 Tests for Australia and brings untold experience to a young Tigers' pack which will prominently feature the likes of Fonua Pole, Austin Dias and Justin Matamua next year among others, with the trio having made their debuts in recent weeks.

NRL Rd 17 - Wests Tigers v Eels
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Justin Matamua of the Tigers is sent to the sin bin for his tackle on Mitchell Moses of the Eels during the round 17 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels at Leichhardt Oval on July 09, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Tamou said he is exceptionally excited about where the club is headed.

“Some of these young players coming through, they are definitely the cream of the crop,” he said.

“I have never been this excited about the young ones coming through since I was at Penrith.

“I can see where the Tigers are headed for the future.

“I know there’s been a lot of heartbreak and I have witnessed it first-hand.

“There is something exciting for the fans and something for them to stick around for.”