Premiership Odds: (via $101.00

Big Ins: Matt Ballin, Justin Hunt

Big Outs: Martin Taupau, Keith Galloway

Most of the Tigers off-season talk has been about Robbie Farah and Jason Taylor and whether they can co-exist. Although I’m not sure they can, for the sake of the Tigers, they need to.

This is a Tigers side that can do the job on any given day, but they’ll need a massive improvement on what they produced in 2015.

They’ve lost two huge forwards and haven’t been able to replace them so the spots will need to be filled from inside the existing Tigers ranks.

If their main attacking weapons stay fit and a young forward stands up and provides plenty of support to Aaron Woods, who knows what they’re capable of.

Key Player: James Tedesco

Tedesco is arguably the best fullback in the game after a brilliant 2015. He busted teams apart from literally everywhere on the park and with another offseason under his belt, it’s scary to think what he might produce.

I’m not sure the Tigers will win enough games this season but if you’re looking to back a fullback for the Dally M, you could do far worse than the Tigers custodian.

I feel for the first line of defence when he returns kicks as they are often left looking silly. Tedesco broke almost seven tackles a game in 2015, most of those trampling over the onrushing defence on kick returns.

Tedesco is at short odds to be the club’s top try scorer and for good reason. He will score plenty from close to the line however offers just as big a threat from inside his own half.

Young Gun: David Nofoaluma

22 year-old David Nofoaluma has something special about him. He managed to score six tries in ten games last season despite the Tigers poor run of form.

With blistering pace, a clever step, and the size to match it with any outside back, the Tigers will be hoping he can stay fit and continue to produce.

Kevin Naiqama had a very good season in 2015 and looks like he’ll make the permanent move to centre which should see Nofoaluma presented with plenty of opportunities this year.

He scored two tries while representing the Prime Minister’s XI against PNG, showing that he has all the tools to be a very dangerous player on the end of a very dangerous backline.

Best Signing: Matt Ballin

Ballin was originally signed to replace Robbie Farah as mentor to young Cherrington, however his role has now changed with the news that Farah will stay at the club.

He will now likely play off the bench if Jason Taylor persists with his plan to play two number nines.

Ballin will make plenty of tackles and can read the game like the best of them in the game.

He isn’t known as the fastest out of dummy half but he will catch plenty of tiring forwards out of position, especially in the lead up to half time.

Weakness: Second row lacks imagination

I hate to criticise but the Tigers back row lacks imagination. Chris Lawrence is a hard running back rower but hasn’t shown any playmaking abilities since moving from the centres.

Dene Halatau never lets anyone down, but much like Lawrence, is more likely to tuck the footy and run rather than break tackles and offload.

Curtis Sironen is the player most likely to create out wide but will have to improve on a pretty disappointing 2015.

Aaron Woods is going to have to have a wow of a season and make plenty of metres because I just can’t see where any big numbers elsewhere will come from.

Strength: Attacking flair across the back

Any side that has James Tedesco in it is going to be potent in attack. Throw in speedy, freakish players such as Tim Simona and David Nofoaluma and the Tigers can hurt you from anywhere on the park.

Moses and Brooks have had a full season together in the top grade and need to repay the faith shown in them by the club’s decision makers.

They will be tasked with providing plenty of early ball to their young, very capable backline.

I’m really looking forward to the end of season highlights if Tedesco, Simona and Nofoaluma stay fit. Kevin Naiqama had a brilliant end to 2015 and has become a genuine threat out wide.

Strongest line-up:

1. James Tedesco
2. Justin Hunt
3. Tim Simona
4. Kevin Naiqama
5. David Nofoaluma
6. Mitch Moses
7. Luke Brooks
8. Aaron Woods
9. Robbie Farah
10. Sauaso Sue
11. Curtis Sironen
12. Chris Lawrence
13. Dene Halatau

14. Matt Ballin
15. Ava Seumanufagai
16. Kyle Lovett
17. Joel Edwards

Prediction: 15th

It’s tough to write off any team that contains the likes of Tedesco, Woods and Farah, but unfortunately for fans of the Tigers I’m not sure they have enough support.

Their season depends massively on how Brooks and Moses play and whether they are confident enough to call the shots.

I fear for this side if one of their top line players gets injured as the Tigers squad is not the deepest in terms of readymade replacements.

On their day this Tigers side will do plenty of damage, but I just can’t see which player outside the usual suspects is capable of standing up and lending a consistent hand.

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