Tigers wrecking ball ready to ‘rip in’

Rookie 115 kilo wrecking ball Stefano Utoikamanu is ready to “rip in” when he makes his debut in Wests Tigers colours in Saturday night’s trial against the Sydney Roosters.

Utoikamanu, a bruising front-rower, has already played three NRL games for Parramatta, but he is keen to take the next step at the Tigers.

The 20-year-old believes Michael Maguire is the man to help him become a consistent first grade performer.

“They (the coaching staff) will help me improve my game a lot,” Utoikamanu told the Tigers website.

“I think this year is going to be a big learning year for me, but I want to improve and show that I’m a good player.

“I didn’t play as much last season (at Parramatta), but I got to be around the boys and see how they train week in and week out.

“My main goal is to secure a starting position and become the best I can be.

“It is going to be a good year this year – I can feel it and I’m keen to rip in with these boys this season.”

Prop Stefano Utoikamanu wants to become a consistent first grade performer. Picture: Brett CostelloSource:News Corp Australia

The Tigers are also expected to name former Panther Daine Laurie along with fellow rookies Jock Madden and Jake Simpkin for the trial.

Madden is a halfback and a former Australian Schoolboy, while Queensland-born Simpkin is a hooker.

Both players joined the Tigers on development squad contracts in 2021, but they are now in the club’s 30-man squad.

The Tigers still have three NRL spots and one development spot available on their 30-man roster for the 2021 season.

The Roosters trial will serve as a big opportunity for the club’s fringe players to secure their futures, either in the Canterbury Cup or the NRL.

The Tigers are expected to name a more experienced 21-man squad for next Sunday’s trial against Manly at Leichhardt Oval from 5pm.

The Tigers play the Roosters at Kirkham Oval in Camden from 6.30pm on Saturday.

Source: Read Full Article