Sport Wests Tigers confirm nine players to depart at season's end

14:37  06 september  2017
14:37  06 september  2017 Source:   Sporting News

Reynolds 'a bit scared' ahead of Wests Tigers move

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The Wests Tigers have confirmed nine players that won’t be with the club next season . The club held their annual awards ceremony last night and revealed a number of players who would not be returning to the Wests Tigers in 2018.

Wests Tigers can today confirm that Captain Aaron Woods will be departing the club at the end of the 2017 NRL season . Woods has played 133 NRL games for Wests Tigers since making his first-grade debut in Round 1 of the 2011 season .

  Wests Tigers confirm nine players to depart at season's end © Sporting News The Tigers have confirmed nine players will part ways from the club in 2018, with James Tedesco and Aaron Wood headlining the list of lost talent.

Tedesco and Woods' move to the Roosters and Bulldogs respectively have been widely reported, but some of the club's smaller names are also on their way out as Ivan Cleary prepares to turn a new leaf.

The Tigers coach got busy recuiting right away once he was handed power, bringing Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Tui Lolohea and Alex Twal to Concord mid-season.

Then the big names started putting belief in Cleary's plan, with Josh Reynolds, Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Chris McQueen and Benji Marshall all joining the bus.

Wests Tigers farewell Aaron Woods and James Tedesco in style against Warriors

  Wests Tigers farewell Aaron Woods and James Tedesco in style against Warriors Victory over New Zealand Warriors allowed the Tigers to leapfrog Gold Coast Titans and end the year in 14th place. Hardly an achievement to jump up and down about, of course, but after a tumultuous campaign it gave the 10,231 on hand at Leichhardt Oval something to walk away with.

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Cleary will be well equipped of depth in the backs department, convincing Taane Milne, Corey Thompson and Mahe Fonua to wear the orange and black along with some help in the forwards with Robbie Rochow, who makes the last of 12 signings.

The heavy recruiting comes with a long list of casualties as the Tigers mentor begins his revamp, leaving Joel Edwards, Jamal Idris, Justin Hunt, Jack Littlejohn and Kyle Lovett all without an NRL contract.

Veteran hooker Matt Ballin has been forced into retirement after battling an ongoing knee injury, while stocky prop Ava Seumanufagai will take up a contract with the Sharks.

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The Wests Tigers are an Australian Professional rugby league football merger club based in both the Inner West and Western Sydney. They have competed in the National Rugby League since they were formed at the end of the 1999 NRL season as a joint-venture club between the Balmain Tigers and

Jamal Idris had a short-lived NRL comeback with the Wests Tigers.© Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Jamal Idris had a short-lived NRL comeback with the Wests Tigers. Idris was a huge disappointment after being tipped for a big comeback from a two-year break from rugby league, but the once damaging centre only managed five first grade appearances and struggled to keep up with the pace of first grade.

Lovett has been in the Tigers' bad books since being found guilty of cocaine possession before the season kicked off as they attempted to shaft him, but eventually the club kept him and he went to feature in just seven games for 2017.

Littlejohn provided cover in the halves, hooker and in the forwards as the club dealt with a string of injuries, but along with Joel Edwards, both men were overlooked for Cleary's stack of new weaponry.

Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco a surprise winner of Players' Champion award .
Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco has emerged as the surprise winner of the Players' Champion award after pipping Storm star Cameron Smith for the honour. Tedesco accepted the trophy, determined by his NRL peers throughout the season, at a star-studded ceremony at The Star on Tuesday night. Most pundits expected Smith, the short-priced favourite for the Dally M award, to pick up the prestigious gong. However, Tedesco emerged as the players' player of the year, underscoring his value ahead of his switch to the Roosters during the off season."I didn't think I was any chance," Tedesco told AAP.

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