Naiqama can captain Wests Tigers: Woods


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    Former Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods believes Kevin Naiqama can succeed him as captain of the merger club next NRL season.

    The former teammates will clash when the Kangaroos meet Fiji in the Rugby League World Cup semi-final on Friday and Woods is wary of Naiqama’s leadership ability.

    “He doesn’t look to be a real vocal person but what surprised me when he come to our club was the amount of time he puts into his body and his football,” Woods said.

    “He’s forever doing prehab on his body, watching clips, sitting down with assistant coaches.”

    Woods says Naiqama is quiet by nature, but morphs into a dangerous weapon when moved into his natural habitant on the football field.

    “The big thing with Kev, game day he’s real vocal in the warm-up,” Woods said.

    “He comes across as a real quiet guy but once you get to game day, he gets in that mood where when you cross the white line with him, he’s ready to go.

    “He’s real good for the younger boys and looking at a lot of Fijians, they do look up to him. Being the captain, you’ve got to a big responsibility and I think he’s thrived on it.”

    Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has yet to decide on who will replace Woods as skipper, with veterans Chris Lawrence and Elijah Taylor also likely to be in the running.

    However, Woods insists Naiqama deserves to be in the conversation as well, particularly after his emotional speech following the Bati’s quarter-final upset of New Zealand.

    “I thought it was awesome watching Kevin Naiqama’s interview at the end,” Woods said.

    “To see how proud he is to captain his country and to see him doing so well, I was so happy for him. It give me goose bumps watching him.”

    Asked whether Naiqama could bring the same leadership at club level, Woods said: “Definitely.”

    The final-four clash will also pit Woods against his current NSW State of Origin teammate in Jarryd Hayne, who was part of the Kangaroos side that beat Fiji at the same stage in 2013.

    Woods said Hayne, who scored a hat-trick on that day, would lift for the Kangaroos.

    “He’s a gamebreaker and a bloke that lifts for big games. We’re going to have to really watch Jarryd, any time he touches the ball anything can happen,” he said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (1)

    • November 22nd 2017 @ 9:04am
      Fred said | November 22nd 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      As a Tigers fan I would LOVE to see him captain

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