Joe Ofahengaue has cut short his time in Brisbane to join Wests Tigers on a three-year deal and spark a chain reaction of player movement across the NRL.
The Wests Tigers a joint venture, established in 1999, had their crowning moment in 2005, winning the grand final.
They have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch over the years, and there are the players who make their best team.
1. James Tedesco
Four caps for Australia, six caps for Italy, 13 caps for NSW; Dally M Medal winner, two-time Brad Fittler medal winner, RLPA player of the year and two-time fullback of the year
Teddy has transformed himself into a world-class fullback. His career has skyrocketed after leaving the Tigers, but his last two seasons with the club were amazing, winning the RLPA player of the year in 2017.
He is like a human pinball – he just finds a way to bounce off defenders and then accelerate into space. Tigers fans must be in a state of affliction seeing him excel at the Roosters. He’s the one that got away.
2. David Noufaluma
Two caps for Samoa, winger of the year
He’s a very underrated winger who presents so many challenges in trying to handle him. He’s always up there in most tackle busts every year and handy at coming out of his own half. He’s scored the third-most tries for the club.
3. Paul Whaturia
16 caps for New Zealand
The dual premiership winner was 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
Four caps for Australia
Debuting as a teenager, Lawrence was one of most consistent players for the Tigers. Injuries took away his great pace and footwork, which meant he didn’t reach his great potential, but he did manage to play for his country despite these setbacks. He’s the equal leading try scorer for the club.
5. Taniela Tuiaki
Four caps for New Zealand, four 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 an all-time great but a severe ankle injury forced him into early retirement. He won’t be forgotten by Tigers any time soon.
6. Benji Marshall
31 caps for New Zealand; Golden Boot winner, two-time 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. In the early 2010s Marshall was one of the best players in the world. He was able to combine his tantalising footwork and flair with game management skills. He’s one of the great entertainers.
7. Luke Brooks
Halfback of the year
One of the most highly touted players, he had been compared to Andrew Johns but never lived up to that expectation. He has, however, really improved in the last couple of years. The 2018 season was his best to date, winning halfback of the year and finishing third in Dally M Medal count.
8. John Skandalis
Four 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
Eight caps for Australia, 16 caps for NSW, five caps for Lebanon; two-time 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 any other era he would have played many Test matches. Farah was a constant threat out of dummy half, and his footwork and creativity have set up countless tries for the Tigers. Farah is also very strong in defence. He had great knack of engaging the A and B defender to give others opportunities.
10. Aaron Woods
17 caps for Australia, 14 caps for NSW; two-time prop of the year
He was making 100 metres a game with his eyes closed during his peak. Woods was starting for state and country, but his career took a decline when he left the Tigers.
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 caps for Great Britain; two-time RLIF second-rower of the year, lock of the year
The Englishman spent only four years with the Tigers but made a resounding impact. Ellis was tough as nails and brought a mean streak. They haven’t really found anyone to really replace the aggression he brought.
13. Anthony Laffranchi
Five caps for Australia, four caps for NSW, three caps for Italy; RLIF second-rower of the year
Laffranchi was very mobile for his size, which made him a damaging ball runner. He was a key forward in the 2005 premiership-winning team.
Todd Payten, Liam Fulton, Keith Galloway, Ben Galea
This team has two barnstorming wingers who are extremely difficult to tackle and can bulldoze their way to the try line. A super crafty Farah is a menace to watch in the ruck as he can easily orchestrate points for himself.
The duo of Marshall and Tedesco will be must-watch as both are incredible at evading defenders and will be the focus of the attack for this team. A prime Marshall and Tedesco can score against anyone and be a threat to score whenever they have the ball in their hands.
The boys from Wests make beating them a challenging test, as you have to be at your best. They won’t give you a rest – your heart will be beating out of your chest, and you know it will be a try-fest.