The Wests Tigers will finish the 2023 season with their second straight wooden spoon, and unless there is a dramatic turn of events in 2024, both Isaiah Papali'i and Stefano Utoikamanu could walk out of the club at the end of next year.

Papali'i, who is coming to the end of his first season at the joint-venture having left the Parramatta Eels on a mega deal at the end of 2022, has struggled to find his best form in a constantly poor Tigers' side.

Whispers have existed around the forward's future ever since he arrived at Concord and November, and they aren't going anywhere, despite the fact he is on contract until the end of the 2025 campaign.

Papali'i has moved more than once to squash the rumours, but his former club the Parramatta Eels are under the impression he will return if given the chance, while the New Zealand Warriors are also in the hunt, according to The Sydney Morning Herald's Michael Chammas.

His partner living in New Zealand further complicates issues for the Auckland-born 24-year-old.

"Particularly around Isaiah Papali'i, the whispers have been around for a little while," Chammas said on Triple M Radio.

"His partner lives over in New Zealand and there has been talk about the Warriors looking at him. I know that having spoken to people at Parramatta that if Isaiah Papali'i had the chance he would go back."

Prop Stefano Utoikamanu, on the other hand, has a clause in his contract which states that if the Tigers don't make the finals next season (having not made them this year), he will be able to leave as a free agent, despite the fact his current deal is otherwise scheduled to run until 2025.

The young gun made his State of Origin debut this year and has begun to hit his potential at NRL level. It's believed the Eels are also interested in luring him back to the west, where he began his career.

Chammas said that next year will have a major bearing on whether both players become long-term Tigers players or not.

"I don't know if either of those two will leave before the end of next season, but if the Tigers struggle next year, look out," Chammas added.

The Tigers, who conceded 50 points against the Manly Sea Eagles in their final game of the 2023 season against Manly on Friday evening at Brookvale, have made significant off-field changes for next season, with Tim Sheens axed and Benji Marshall taking over early.

The club will also be without Luke Brooks for the first time in more than a decade, with the maligned half heading to Manly. The Tigers have signed Aidan Sezer and Jayden Sullivan to form their new-look halves combination.