Wests Tigers take the totally serious option of naming five captains for 2018

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    The Wests Tigers have taken the unprecedented step of naming five captains for the 2018 NRL season, including three new recruits to the club.

    While many clubs have gone with co-captains in recent years, the Tigers have added three on top of that as they try to find an answer to former skipper Aaron Woods, who left the club at the end of 2017 for the Bulldogs.

    Among the five men to be named is club favourite and 2005 premiership-winning player Benji Marshall. It’s not clear if the half will have a role in the starting 17 this season, but he has been named in the team’s leadership group by coach Ivan Cleary.

    Marshall left the Tigers in 2013 to take an opportunity with the Auckland Blues in Super Rugby. That didn’t work out though and he has since had varying levels of success back in the NRL at the St George Illawarra Dragons and Brisbane Broncos.

    Alongside Marshall will be club stalwart Chris Lawrence, back-rower Elijah Taylor and a pair of new recruits in former Bulldogs half Josh Reynolds and front-rower Russell Packer.

    Cleary didn’t say how the group would operate throughout the season.

    “When we started this preseason it was pretty obvious straight away that there was no real pecking order,” the coach said.

    “There was no set culture to adhere to. It was all new. That was what I wanted it to be like and that’s just how it panned out.

    “With this particular team at this time I think it’s going to work best to spread that role and allow those blokes to develop in their own way.”

    Reynolds comes to the club after spending all of his career so far at Canterbury. He was a favourite of the blue and white faithful and has played four State of Origin games for New South Wales. Packer has a chequered past and served time in jail for assault, but made a successful return to the NRL during 2016 and 2017 at the Dragons.

    Lawrence is the only one-club player of the group, having made his debut in the black and gold in 2006. He has played six games for Australia, but never played State of Origin. Taylor, who has played 11 games for New Zealand, came to the Tigers in 2016 after stints at the New Zealand Warriors and Penrith Panthers.

    The Tigers’ season opener will see them host the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, March 10.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,800 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

    The New South Wales State of Origin team for the 2018 series remains a mystery, with new coach Brad Fittler facing plenty of selection headaches. So we want you to tell us - and all your mates - who should start for Blues in Game 1 with our team picker.

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • Roar Guru

      February 14th 2018 @ 5:49pm
      The Barry said | February 14th 2018 @ 5:49pm | ! Report


      All clubs have leadership groups so this seems that with a different label.

      I wonder if there’ll be five players with (c) next to their name in the game day program.

      Splits the off field responsibilities.

      Interesting to see who’s dealing with the refs.

      • Roar Guru

        February 14th 2018 @ 6:19pm
        Nat said | February 14th 2018 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

        It does give the fans an extra 5mins to find their seats after the ref calls “Captains ready” at kick off.

    • Roar Guru

      February 14th 2018 @ 6:30pm
      Emcie said | February 14th 2018 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

      Is this legit? Sounds like a satire piece

      • Roar Guru

        February 14th 2018 @ 8:31pm
        Scott Pryde said | February 14th 2018 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

        Yes. It’s completely legit. I still can’t believe it to be brutally honest. Five. Why five?

        • Roar Guru

          February 14th 2018 @ 9:10pm
          Emcie said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

          Because six would be rediculous?

          Almost 40% of the players on the field would be captain… Why not just do away with having a captain altogether?

          • Roar Guru

            February 14th 2018 @ 10:13pm
            Scott Pryde said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

            I can’t understand anything more than co-captains.

            • February 15th 2018 @ 9:59am
              Fred said | February 15th 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report

              There is no obvious choice for a single captain though. Some said Lawrence, but he’s no guarantee to make the 17 each week. Same for Benji. Packer couldn’t be sole captain due to his history, however much he has progressed since then. Reynolds maybe for 2019, but he’s yet to prove himself for the Tigers.

              • February 15th 2018 @ 4:13pm
                souvalis said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

                Among that list Elijah Taylor doesn’t stand out for you ?

              • February 15th 2018 @ 4:21pm
                BA Sports said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

                As Cleary stands on the training field and announces to the squad he has five captains there is a little Fijian bloke who has captained his country just three months ago thinking – “Geez five captains, I have to be one of those…”.


    • Columnist

      February 14th 2018 @ 6:40pm
      Kris Swales said | February 14th 2018 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

      Ivan’s just locking down his best drivers before privatisation hits inner-west bus routes.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 9:36am
        spruce moose said | February 15th 2018 @ 9:36am | ! Report


    • February 14th 2018 @ 11:20pm
      Dodgy dragons said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

      Seriously, they have got to be kidding.

      Give them all a participation certificate aswell because that’s all the tigers will be doing this year!!

      • February 15th 2018 @ 9:06am
        curaeus said | February 15th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

        Really! Bit early to be saying that Dodgy old mate!

    • February 14th 2018 @ 11:38pm
      Les Mara said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:38pm | ! Report

      A coach that can’t make a hard decision..imagine this guy coaching the Blues in State of Origin!

    • February 15th 2018 @ 2:34am
      Granter said | February 15th 2018 @ 2:34am | ! Report

      2 co-captains is stupid enough, there should be one captain and that’s it.

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