SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: Director of Football at Wests Tigers,Tim Sheens looks on during a Wests Tigers NRL training session at St Lukes Park North on April 13, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

New Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens has revealed Apisai Koroisau was voted in by both his fellow players and the team's coaching staff to be named captain.

The Tigers, who are rebounding from a horrid year where they 'won' the wooden spoon, have brought in a number of new recruits for 2023.

Koroisau - who played at dummy half for New South Wales in last year's State of Origin series and was a key part of Penrith's second-straight premiership - leads that charge, and is joined by ex-Eel Isaiah Papali'i, former Knights' forward David Klemmer and UK import John Bateman.

Bateman is yet to arrive in Australia as visa issues continue to delay his progress, and it seems almost certain the barnstorming second-rower will now miss the opening round of the competition when the Tigers open their season on Sunday, March 5 against the Gold Coast Titans.

Koroisau himself is no sure thing to play in Round 1 after a hamstring complaint ruled him out of the club's second trial this weekend at Belmore against the Canberra Raiders - he is joined on the sideline by Luke Brooks, with the duo now pushing to play in Round 1 where the Tigers' new-look spine, which is also without the departed Jackson Hastings, will have its first competitive hit-out.

While doubt continues to grow around the fitness of the veteran dummy half, there was no doubt internally around him being selected to captain in his first season at the joint-venture.

The Tigers had five captains at the start of last year, which was eventually whittled down to one under interim coach Brett Kimmorley, but James Tamou has now left and a new face was needed to fill the role.

Despite comments following Penrith's second-straight premiership which suggested Koroisau believed the Tigers would never amount to what Penrith had, Sheens was willing to let bygones be bygones and move into the future with Koroisau leading the side.

“What's done with a few beers in you after a grand final is...” Sheens told 2GB radio.

“And of course the media are always going to hound you, and that's the nature of the internet these days. Things are always out there.

“He hadn't even arrived at the club at the time, and I'm happy with what's happened since he got here and so are the players. So, again, I stress that they are the ones who have to be led by (Koroisau), and they felt (being) led by him is the way to go.”

He said the direction of what the team wanted was clear, telling The Sydney Morning Herald that Koroisau won the vote in heavy fashion among both players and coaching staff.

“The players voted for him, I'm happy with [the appointment], the coaches have supported it, the club has supported it, and he's the most decorated player at our club by a long way,” Sheens said.

“I asked the players to vote, Api well and truly led the voting, and when I also asked the coaches, again Api came out on top.

“He's won three premierships, played State of Origin, led Fiji, and was unlucky not to make the Australian side. He's a player who leads by example.

“I asked him on Monday if he was comfortable accepting the captaincy. He was, so it was then formally announced. He's getting cheekier and cheekier with the coach, and he's become more comfortable around the place.

The decision to name Koroisau following his post grand final comments left some fans with raised eyebrows, but others suggested there was no real dispute in who should be leading the side.

The Tigers, who haven't played finals for more than a decade, were in some ways without leadership in 2022.

Tamou struggled in the front row, unable to reach the form he had displayed just two years prior during his time at the Panthers, while the other members of the leadership group were either well below their best, or struggled to stay in first-grade.

Luke Brooks was part of the leadership group, but is now the most-capped player in the NRL without a finals appearance, while Ken Maumalo battled with injury and Tyrone Peachey found himself outside of the best 17.

Adam Doueihi was the other member of the five-man group, and while he was one of the club's best players throughout the course of the campaign, there was little doubt the Tigers needed a fresh approach, as they have gone for in the coaching department, with former premiership-winning coach Sheens to mentor Benji Marshall for two years before he takes over in the top job at Concord.