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Wests Tigers all-time team

Look who's back! (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Roar Guru
12th February, 2016
8

The Wests Tigers have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the NRL since their inception.

The joint venture took five years to make their first finals appearance in where they won the premiership in 2005.

The Wests Tigers have only been in existence for 16 years but have produced some great players in that time.

1. Brett Hodgson – 6 caps for NSW, Fullback of the year, Man of Steel
Hodgson was a great all-round fullback who excelled at his positional play in defence and was very good in support play. His goal kicking was a great bonus.

2. Pat Richards – 6 caps for Ireland, RLIF winger of the year
A tall, strong winger who rock solid in defence, he was very underrated throughout his career. Richards was a point-scoring machine who had the most powerful boots in the game. He could nail 60m penalty goals without breaking a sweat.

3. Paul Whaturia – 16 caps for NZ
The dual premiership winner had been one of the key pieces to Tigers 2005 success. His nifty footwork and smarts made the Tigers on the of the most dangerous backlines in the NRL.

4. Chris Lawrence – 4 caps for Australia
Debuting as a teenager, Lawrence was one of most consistent players for the Tigers. Injuries did take away his great pace and footwork which made him not reach his great potential, however he did manage to play for his country despite these setbacks.

5. Taniela Tuiaki – 4 caps for NZ, 4 caps for Tonga, winger of the year
One of the most destructive wingers of his generation, Tuiaki was a Mack truck with legs. He was simply too strong and powerful for opposition wingers, scoring 42 tries in 78 games.

He had the potential to be all time great but a severe ankle injury forced him into early retirement.

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6. Benji Marshall – 25 caps for NZ, Golden Boot Winner, 2 x RLIF Five-eighth of the year, five-eighth of the year
One of the most talented players to ever play, Marshall had a devastating left foot step and superb acceleration. With the ability to flick pass at any moment, Marshall at his best could terrorise opposition defences at will.

His try assist in 2005 grand final illustrates his immense talent.

7. Scott Prince – 4 caps for Australia, 4 caps for Queensland, Clive Churchill Medal Winner, halfback of the year, RLIF Halfback of the year.
Prince played his best footy when at the Tigers. He led them to a grand final win his running and strategic kicking game. He was a great compliment to the flair of Marshall.

8. John Skandalis – 4 caps for City
Skandalis was the leader of the Tigers pack for many years and was extremely loyal to the team. He was a prop known to do all the dirty work, he wasn’t a flashy player but was very inspirational.

9. Robbie Farah – 8 caps for Australia, 13 for NSW, 1 cap for Lebanon, 2x hooker of the year, RLIF Hooker of the year, Brad Fittler medal winner
Farah was very unlucky to play in an era of great hookers like Cam Smith and Danny Buderus. In in any other era he would have played many Test matches. Farah was a constant threat out of dummy half, his footwork and creativity has set up countless tries for the Tigers. Farah is also very strong in defence.

10. Aaron Woods – 5 caps for Australia, 8 for NSW
Woods has only played five years and is already one of the best props in the world. He is so young but plays like a seasoned veteran. He makes 100 metres a game with his eyes closed. Woods has the potential to be best player in the team’s history.

11. Mark O’Neill
One of the shining lights in the early days for the Tigers when they struggling, O’Neill was very underrated in his time. He finished his career with a premiership.

12. Gareth Ellis – 17 caps for England, 16 for Great Britain, 2x RLIF Second Rower of the year, Lock of the year
The Englishman only spent four years with the Tigers but he made a resounding impact. Ellis was tough as nails who brought a mean streak.

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Ellis left a gaping hole when he left. He was a very good off-loader of the football.

13. Anthony Laffranchi – 5 caps for Australia, 4 caps for NSW 3 caps for Italy, RLIF Second rower of the year
Laffranchi was very mobile for his size which made him a damaging ball runner.

Bench: Todd Payten, Liam Fulton, Keith Galloway, Ben Galea

This Tigers side is strongest in the backs but there is still plenty of grunt up front.

This concludes the series of naming the best 17 of every NRL team. Next I am going to put these teams up against each other and see who would win in a hypothetical game.

My next article will between the Manly versus Brisbane all-time teams.