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Meriton Wests Tigers Cubs have recorded two very strong wins on their tour of England.
The U18 development tour is the third of its kind for the Wests Tigers following successful tours in 2002 and 2004.
The Cubs have beaten a London Harlequins Academy team 58-0 and a Huddersfield Giants Academy team 50-16. They have one match remaining against an U18 Leeds Academy side.
The aim of the tour is to build strong relationships and playing combinations with junior players from the Balmain and Western Suburbs districts, who have already played Harold Matthews or SG Ball.
The players on the Cubs tour have been earmarked by officials as possible Wests Tigers players in coming years. Players to have toured with the Cubs who have gone on to play for the Wests Tigers include Bryce Gibbs, Bronson Harrison, Liam Fulton, Robbie Farah, Dean Collis, Shannon McDonnell, Isaac De Gois, Stuart Flanagan and Rocky Trimarchi.
The Cubs tour would not be possible without the incredible support given by Mr Harry Triguboff from Meriton Apartments.
His substantial investment as naming rights sponsor has given these young players a chance of a lifetime to travel and play rugby league in England.
Cubs manager and Wests Tigers welfare manager Paul Heptonstall said the 58-0 win over London Harlequins at the RAF Base in Uxbridge was not a true indication of the game.
?It was a very physical match. They were a fairly solid side and it was a tough hit out for our boys,?? Heptonstall said.
?There were some big hits and our boys certainly knew they were playing in England. The difference in the end was the skill level between the two teams. Our skills level was far superior.??
Former Keebra Park High School centre Kingi Akaoula was named man-of-the-match.
Heptonstall said the Wests Tigers Cubs were given a warm welcome to Huddersfield.
Rhys Jack, the son of former Balmain Tigers full-back Garry Jack, was named the man-of-the-match in the win over the Giants.
?The game was played in front of a great atmosphere and the Wests Tigers Cubs received a great reception,?? Heptonstall said.
?It was another tough game but all of our players performed well.
?Following the game, Huddersfield Giants presented the Wests Tigers with a Huddersfield Giants jersey which had Skando Number 10 on the back of it. They are very much looking forward to John Skandalis, Shane Elford and Jamaal Lolesi coming over to play for Huddersfield.??
The Cubs are now taking in some sightseeing around Glasgow and Edinburgh before playing Leeds at Headingley on Friday, October 16.
The touring party will then have the opportunity to attend the English Super League grand final on Saturday, October 14, before departing Manchester Airport to arrive in Sydney on Monday, October 16.
Heptonstall praised the British Rugby League (BRL) for their hospitality of the Wests Tigers Cubs.
?Andy Harland from the BRL has been outstanding. All of the officials we have come across have made us very welcome and have gone out of their way to assist us. It is very much appreciated,?? Heptonstall said.
The 2006 Wests Tigers Cubs are Mitchell Achurch, Troy Adams, Kingi Akaoula, Kurt Austin, Wade Dunley, Simon Dwyer, Ben Falcone, Nathan Fiti, Byron Fruean, Dane Gernhoefer, Scott Goodsir, Damon Harth, Rhys Jack, Luke Kelly, Tohi Leha, William Mataka, Ahmed Omar, Ben Shea, Michael Stolk, Velini Tiatia, Dean Webster.
Wests Tigers would like to thank the following businesses for their player sponsorship of the Cubs ? Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club, Gladesville Bowling Club; T & S Valves and Fittings Supplies; Gearbox Express Ingleburn; Mannings Funerals, Balmain; Wests Leagues Club Campbelltown; Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club; Just Power Electical Contractors; Meriton; Ranch Hotel; Dundas Valley Rugby Union Club; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts; North Ryde Rugby League Club.