Piggy could get stuck in reserve grade

Initially, it was thought that he may act as a second-rower off the bench, but now, it seems like new Tigers recruit Mark Riddell could find himself playing extended periods in the NSW Cup.

Whilst Riddell is an accomplished hooker, and seen as an adequate replacement for the hooker position, Tigers coach Tim Sheens was forced to come clean, and tell Mark that he could face periods in the NSW Cup.

Riddell will probably only feature in the first-grade team at hooker if Robbie Farah is injured, suspended or chosen for Origin, not to mention the fact that Farah is an 80 minute player, thus nullifying the need for a reserve hooker off the bench.

“If Rob was a half a game hooker like some, Mark would be happy to play second fiddle. My issue is, and I’ve spoken to him about it, is he may play premier league,” Sheens told AAP.

“He’s a big time performer, he played last year’s Super League grand final, so his position being a specialist cover for Robbie is great … it could go good for him or it could go not so good in that he won’t get much first grade.

“Just as long as Mark understands that could be an issue.”

What may work in Piggy’s favour though is his size, which some Tigers officials think can be utilised to play minutes in the second-row/lock positions, to give tiring forwards a breather.

Another option, and one that hasn’t been ruled out by the maestro coach is seeing Riddell make a permanent shift to hooker, moving Farah into halfback, but that seems the most far-fetched of the lot.

“If we did have an issue in the No.7 jumper that could happen,” Sheens said.

“I’ve never liked moving Robbie before because I don’t like strengthening one (position) and weakening another, but I think Mark at his best could certainly play 9 and Robbie could play 7.”

In other Tigers news which is sure to make the fans happy for the future, the club has re-signed veteran forwards Todd Payten until the end of 2012, and Chris Heighington until the end of 2013.

“It’s a big goal of mine. A lot of things have to go my way before that can happen. I think it’s a fair achievement for a frontrower to do that,” Payten said.

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