WESTS Tigers coach Tim Sheens has named his side to play Manly in a trial match at Brookvale Oval on Saturday, February 25, at 5.15pm.The team is:Brett Hodgson, Shannon McDonnell, Dean Collis, Paul Whatuira, Jamaal Lolesi, Daniel Fitzhenry, Scott Prince (c), Ryan O'Hara, Robbie Farah, John Skandalis, Anthony Laffranchi, Sam Harris, Ben GaleaInterchange: Liam Fulton, Bronson Harrison, Keith Galloway, Bryce Gibbs.
WESTS Tigers have given half-back and captain Scott Prince permission to speak to three NRL Clubs before June 30, 2006.Steve Robinson, Prince?s manager, and the Wests Tigers club reached an agreement last week whereby Prince is only allowed to talk to the Queensland Clubs.Both parties will then meet at the end of February to enable Wests Tigers to conduct final negotiations with Prince. The matter is hoped to be resolved before the start of the season on March 10.
WESTS Tigers have engaged on a consultancy basis Australian weightlifting coach Luke Borreggine to increase the players strength and power in 2006.Borreggine (pictured) is the current head coach of the NSWIS Weightlifting Program and spends three days a week with the NRL premiers under the guidance of Wests Tigers performance co-ordinator Ciriaco Mescia.Based at Burwood Police and Citizen?s Youth Club, Borreggine applies a combination of Russian and Bulgarian training methodology within the nationally focused NSWIS weightlifting program. A national and international coach for the Australian Weightlifting Federation since 1993, Luke has coached Australia at 14 World Weightlifting Championships during his career. He was also the Head Coach for the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Australian Olympic Weightlifting teams, and the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games teams. In December 2003, Luke was appointed Head Coach of the Australian weightlifting team for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Luke is a life member of the NSW and Australian Weightlifting Federation. He is also a life member of the Police and Community Youth Club and the Australian Weightlifting Federation. In 2000, he was judged as the NSW Coach of the Year. Weightlifting isn?t the only sport that Borreggine has been associated with. He spent 10 years working in rugby league and was associated with the Penrith Panthers club from 1990-93.?After having a long break from rugby league, it is great to be involved in the game again,?? Borreggine said.?I?m really enjoying working with the Wests Tigers.??
WESTS Tigers captain Scott Prince is keen to secure a new contract deal with the premiers prior to next season's NRL kick-off on March 10.Prince is off-contract at the end of 2006 but wants to secure a long-term deal with the club.He will leave contract negotiations until after the World Club Challenge against Bradford Bulls on February 3."I want to sort something out by the start of the season, not only for myself but also for the club. I don't want to drag them along,'' Prince said."If I stay, the club then knows they don't have to look elsewhere. If I decide to leave, at least it gives them enough time to get things moving."I want to stay at the Wests Tigers, especially now that Benji Marshall has re-signed with the club. It has made it more appealing."The Wests Tigers are a great club and it is great to see we are finally achieving things here. Hopefully we can work something out that is happy for both parties."I've got to talk to my fianc?e about it. Your family life plays a massive role in the way you turn up each week. If everything is happy at home, it means you can have a great year and enjoy yourself on the field.''Prince described his 2005 season as a dream year, culminating in him earning an Australian Test jersey against Great Britain in the Tri-Nations Series."Winning the competition is a team goal, so that's great for the club, and it was great for me personally to be the captain of the team,'' Prince said."To pick up the Clive Churchill medal for player of the grand final and then to be named in the Kangaroo team was a massive bonus."The grand final was such a long week. I spoke to blokes like Scott Sattler and Gordon Tallis who had been there before. They told me grand final week is one of the best weeks of your life."To me, it was the worst week. I couldn't sleep. I was worried about the game, then I was sick on the Thursday, and then there was the talk about whether Pat Richards would play or not."The grand final was one of the fastest games I've played in. It was such a great night and it was just a relief to walk away as the victors."The premiership victory was great not only for the club but also for our supporters. You still get your die-hard Balmain supporters and your mad Western Suburbs supporters, so I see the trophy acting as a counsellor in a bad marriage. It has hopefully united them and we can now all be one happy family.''Prince said the signings of Ryan O'Hara, Keith Galloway, Sam Harris and Jamaal Lolesi would make the side an even more formidable outfit in 2006."The beauty about being a successful rugby league team is the ability to attract players who now want to come to the club,'' Prince said."Now that we are premiers, teams are going to turn up ready to play and that is only going to improve us as a team and a club."Next season is going to be tougher but it is going to bring the best out of us. I'm really looking forward to the challenge.''
THE task of being at his best each week is a challenge new Wests Tigers recruit Sam Harris is looking forward to.The former Manly second-rower started pre-season training last week with the 2005 premiers. Harris is signed to the Wests Tigers until the end of the 2008 season.Speaking on Talkin Sport (2SM 1269AM) on Thursday, December 1, Harris said he been made to feel very welcome at the Concord Oval headquarters."All the boys are still really down to earth and there is a really good feeling throughout the club,'' Harris said."The players know that they are not world beaters and they still have to work hard next year to be a top side. I'm sure (coach) Tim Sheens has got some big plans for the team."It was a little bit daunting to come to the club after the grand final victory. It is good though because I have never been in this situation before where I have played for such a successful team."It will feel a bit different next year running out onto the field knowing that you have to be at your best each week because the opposition will be at their best, wanting to beat you.''Harris said negotiations with the Wests Tigers club began after the side had crushed Manly 49-24 at Leichhardt Oval in round 17."I played one of my better games that night and Tim Sheens gave my manager a call a week later to see if I would be interested in coming to the Wests Tigers because there was talk that Manly were looking to release me with a view to getting Matt Orford,'' Harris admitted."I wanted to stay at Manly but the more and more I thought about it, it just seemed like a better move.''Harris said he enjoyed watching his future team-mates achieve their incredible run of success in the finals."Everyone kept putting the Wests Tigers down because they were too young and too inexperience,'' Harris said."I could tell that they had something special. I'm not saying that I thought they were going to win the grand final but they obviously had a good nucleus of a team that if everything clicked, they were going to be very hard to beat. It showed in the grand final."It was good not to kind of jump on the bandwagon but ride the wave of it and watch them succeed.''Harris said he was already impressed by the professionalism of the club and of the direction being taken by Sheens and assistant coach Royce Simmons."I've only been at the club for a week but Tim already demands plenty of respect,'' Harris said."You listen to every word he says because you know he is right on the ball. Royce is the same and they really have a good system working at the club."It just looks like the Wests Tigers are going to be a powerhouse for years to come.''
THE motive to not let Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens find a reason to drop him to Premier League has been the driving force behind the resurgence of Chris Heighington.
OUTSTANDING Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah has praised former Test rake Royce Simmons on making him the player he is today.