NRL Rd 18 - Cowboys v Wests Tigers
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: The Tigers look on waiting for a conversion attempt during the round 18 NRL match between North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers at Qld Country Bank Stadium on July 01, 2023 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Penrith Panthers premiership winner Luke Garner has delivered a message to his former club after they claimed their second consecutive wooden spoon in the 2023 season.

Only registering four wins in 2023, the Wests Tigers had a year to forget as they would continue their losing ways. This would cause the loyal fans to lose trust in the organisation's head office, and more than one fan protest would occur during their last season's games.

However, while it may not have been a successful season for the Tigers, 2023 saw the emergence of several future stars. Jahream Bula has claimed the fullback role and is considered one of the brightest prospects in the game.

While youngsters such as Junior Tupou, Tallyn Da Silva, Stefano Utoikamanu, Fonua Pole and Starford To'a, among others, showed glimpses of brilliance and will continually get better once they have more first-grade experience.

Despite claiming back-to-back Wooden Spoons and being considered one of the favourites to claim it again in 2024, former player and 2023 premiership-winner Luke Garner believes the club will make a massive turnaround and find success in the next couple of seasons.

"I've got no doubt they'll find success in the next couple of years," Garner told Zero Tackle.

"They've got some really good players and some really good people there at the club.

"Obviously, Benji taking over the next couple of years; I've got full trust in him.

"I'm sure the boys do (too), and he'll succeed."

In a decision that ultimately worked, Garner left the Wests Tigers at the end of last season to join the Panthers and play under Ivan Clary once again. Regarded as a mainstay in his last couple of seasons in the Tigers lineup, he registered 75 games for them across five seasons before departing the club.

For next season, the Wests Tigers have made a plethora of changes to their roster. Luke Brooks has moved onto a new club and will be joined by Aitasi James and Tommy Talau at the Sea Eagles, while Daine Laurie has decided to return to the Penrith Panthers.

These changes came after the club let go of former Dally M Winger of the Year Ken Maumalo and Queensland representative Joe Ofahengaue during the middle of last season.

This means the club will have an entirely new halves combination after their departures created vacant spots to sign prodigy Latu Fainu (Manly Sea Eagles), rising star Jayden Sullivan (Dragons) and veteran Aidan Sezer (Leeds Rhinos).

Cronulla Sharks Training Session
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Sharks coach John Morris watches on during a Cronulla Sharks NRL training session at PointsBet Stadium on June 02, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Wests Tigers will also have an entirely different coaching staff than what they started with at the beginning of the 2023 season.

Tim Sheens (head coach), David Furner (assistant coach), Wayne Lambkin (assistant coach and NSW Cup coach), and Warren McDonnell (recruitment manager) have all exited the club, prompting the Tigers to inject some new blood into their coaching staff.

Benji Marshall will take the head coaching position - one season before he was expected to - and will be joined by Robbie Farah, John Morris, Chris Heighington and Aaron Payne in the coaches' box.

Despite links to transitioning to the head office, Farah will remain on as an assistant coach in what will be his second season in the role. Chris Heighington has transitioned into the assistant role after being the club's trainer in 2023 and will look after the middle forwards.

“At the Sharks we got the wooden spoon in 2014, made the semis the next year and then won the comp. It's a process. Improvement game after game. You can turn yourselves around quickly," Heighington recently told News Corp.

“My biggest asset is probably working one-on-one with players and trying to create a better person and better player.”

John Morris joins from the South Sydney Rabbitohs and adds a ton of valuable experience to the roster. While Aaron Payne has reportedly secured the old job of Wayne Lambkin.

The former North Queensland Cowboys hooker is set to join the Tigers after working as the head coach of the Townsville Blackhawks in the QLD Cup from 2018-2023.

2024 Full squad

John BatemanShawn BloreJahream BulaTallyn Da SilvaAdam DoueihiLatu FainuSamuela FainuSione FainuJosh FeledyLachlan GalvinAsu KepaoaDavid KlemmerApisai KoroisauBrandon MansfieldJustin MatamuaJordan MillerBrent NadenDavid NofoalumaIsaiah Papali'iFonua PoleTriston ReillyAlex SeyfarthAidan SezerJake SimpkinStarford To'aBrandon TumethJunior TupouAlex TwalStefano Utoikamanu