Written by Bob Tearse
The Wests Tigers are coming off of their worst season in club history as they finished last on the NRL ladder.
It has been a tough decade for one of Sydney’s proudest clubs as they have failed to make the top eight since 2011.
However, that all could be set to change in 2023 under the new club’s new regime led by the man who oversaw the Tigers first-ever premiership win in 2005 Tim Sheens and former players Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah.
The Tigers terrific trio has already implemented change at the club as they orchestrated the swap deal between the Tigers and the Newcastle Knights that saw Jackson Hastings move to the Knights and former representative forward David Klemmer go the other way.
Klemmer is joining what is looking like a top-eight forward pack for 2023 as Grand Finalist Isaiah Papali’i is also new in Tiger town from the Parramatta Eels and back-to-back premiership winner Apisai Koroisau has joined from the Penrith Panthers.
England International John Bateman has also been heavily linked with a move to the Tigers as The Daily Telegraph have reported they are set to sign the former Canberra Raider on a three-year deal that will commence immediately and create one of the league’s best second-row duos in Bateman and Papali’i.
Nathan Brown is also believed to be headed to the Tigers from the Eels to play lock next season.
Yesterday the team headed out to @StGregorysColl
for a training session, take a look at our training gallery! https://t.co/zSF0HyRj4r
A special thank you to St Greg's for having us 👏🏼 🐯 #weststigers #showyourstripes
— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) December 2, 2022
These forwards alone create a strong pack but they’re only the signings and rumoured signings with the Tigers having the likes of Joe Ofanhengaue, Stefano Utoikamanu and Alex Twal already at the club, three players who have consistently performed at a high level.
In their backline the Tigers have a returning David Nofoaluma who found his form at the back end of last season with the Melbourne Storm along with Starford To’a who was a standout player for them in 2022 and Dane Laurie who has so much potential to be a star.
Charlie Staines will also be joining the backline after a premiership-winning season with Penrith.
Fresh off of representing Lebanon at the Rugby League World Cup Adam Doueihi is looking to make up for lost time after missing the first half of last season and his halves partner Luke Brooks now has the full backing of the club to try and earn himself a contract for beyond 2023.
If their pack continues to come together and their backs all play to their potential then the Wests Tigers will make the top eight next year.