Category Archives: Wests Tigers

Ellis to leave contract early to head home

It is news that will devastate Tigers fans, but family comes first – with Wests Tigers second-rower Gareth Ellis revealing that he will leave the club at the end of the 2012 season, despite having 1 year left on his contract, due to family reasons.

Ellis, who is rated as one of the world’s best second-rowers asked the club for an early release, citing personal and family reasons.

“Whilst we are disappointed, we have granted Gareth his wish to return to England at the end of this year,’’ said Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys.

“Gareth has been an integral member of the Wests Tigers team in recent years. He has taken his game to another level under Club and Australian Test Coach Tim Sheens and is held in the highest esteem by everyone at Wests Tigers.

“Gareth will leave Wests Tigers with our blessing – and hopefully an NRL premiership.”

Ellis, who turns 31 this year, made his debut for the Wests Tigers in 2009 and has played in 64 NRL games to date – as well as winning the Tigers Player of the Year award for three straight years, the only player to do so.

“I feel the time is right for me to return to England,’’ Ellis said.

“It was a difficult decision to make as I have really enjoyed my time at Wests Tigers. Everyone at the Club has been terrific to me and my family. I couldn’t ask for more.

“I have a young son now. My wife Rachael and I feel it is time to head home to our families at the end of this season.

“I can assure Wests Tigers supporters I will be giving it my all to ensure the team finishes high up as possible so we can give ourselves another strong chance of winning the Telstra Premiership.”

General public may be shut out of Leichhardt Stadium

With the likelihood of Tigers members increasing every year, Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys believes that the time is nigh for Leichhardt Oval, to become a member’s only venue.

This comes after Humphreys said that the Tigers Round 1 clash against the Sharks is nearing a sell-out, despite tickets yet to go on sale to the general public.

With the interest in the game constantly rising, the Tigers have offered a 1-game membership package for those who wish to attend, with Humphreys saying that the club has enjoyed successful sales as a result.

”We have had our biggest day of membership sales today,” he said last night.

”We will see how they go over the next few days and if they are not all gone we will put some tickets on public sale later in the week but at this stage the response has been terrific.”

Should Tigers members secure all the seats at Leichhardt Oval, Humphreys had one message for those Shark fans eager to watch the clash between Benji Marshall and Todd Carney: ”They’ll have to watch it on Foxtel or Channel Nine.”

Whilst Tigers memberships are increasing, this latest GA package has some supporters seething – but despite that, Humphreys hopes for a steady growth in membership sales every year.

‘I do think we are approaching that day when Leichhardt games are members only, which would be great for Wests Tigers but not so good for opposing fans,” he said.

”At some point I would expect that we would have members-only fixtures at all our Leichhardt and Campbelltown games.

”Whether this one does or not … we are still building towards that but I think that day will certainly come as our membership grows. This game will certainly go close, at least.”

Despite it being a hindrance for many fans, in order to guarantee one’s seat, Humphreys says that the only way fans can do that, is if they pay for a $65 membership package, for 1 game.

”Regrettably, we don’t get too many Sunday afternoon games at Leichhardt, and here we have one for round one, so there is a lot of interest in it,” he said.

”For a modest $65, they also get a whole range of member benefits and become a paid-up, proud member of the club. We have sold hundreds of them today and the response has been terrific.

”We have sold out Leichhardt a few times over the last two or three years, so I am really hopeful that people get that message that to avoid disappointment and guarantee their ticket, membership is the way to go.”

Lawrence eager to play Origin

He is fresh off some stellar representative performances for the Kangaroos in last years Four Nations, but now, Tigers centre Chris Lawrence has something else in mind – representing NSW.

Lawrence is one of those players that has played for Australia, before he has played for NSW – with the Tigers centre playing in a total of 6 tests and 2 Four Nations tournaments.

Granted, injuries and form concerns have prevented Lawrence from playing Origin footy, but Lawrence says that he is eager to finally get a start for his state.

“(Origin’s) been my goal for the last couple of years, but I can’t really do much about that,” Lawrence said.

“All I can do is stay fit and just play consistent football.

“It’s up to the selectors but I’d love to get the opportunity to play.”

With NSW using 11 centres and 13 centre combinations in the last 5 years alone, for Lawrence, he knows why there has been a huge turnover of centres, but talks about consistency as being the reason why the Blues have struggled to beat Queensland for 6 years.

“I think NSW has been pretty unlucky there … there’s been a lot of senior guys that have been there for a while that have stepped down from rep footy and then a high turnover through injury.

“That’s been disappointing because you need to be able to have the same combinations to go through a series to be able to win a series.

“Hopefully I can put my hand up and get in there for the first game, put in a good performance and stay there for all three games.”

Almost Full Strength Foundation Cup Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers coach has named a close to full strength side to face the Sydney Roosters for the Foundation Cup at Campbelltown Sports Stadium this Saturday, 18th February 2012. Despite suffering a gash to the eye last week against Parramatta, second-rower Liam Fulton has been named on an extended bench. The Tigers also welcome back injured stars Chris Lawrence and captain Robbie Farah.

Wests Tigers NRL Team

1 James Tedesco
2 Beau Ryan
3 Blake Ayshford
4 Chris Lawrence
5 Matt Utai
6 Benji Marshall
7 Tim Moltzen
8 Aaron Woods
9 Robbie Farah ©
10 Keith Galloway
11 Adam Blair
12 Gareth Ellis
13 Chris Heighington

14 Liam Fulton
15 Matt Groat
16 Matt Bell
17 Tom Humble
18 Joel Reddy

Match Day Schedule
11.45am: Gates open
12pm: Rd 2 Harold Matthews Cup: Western Suburbs Magpies v Manly Sea Eagles
1.30PM: Rd 2 SG Ball Cup: Western Suburbs Magpies v Manly Sea Eagles
3.30pm: NSW Cup trial: Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers v Newtown Jets
5.15pm: NYC trial: Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters
7.30pm: Foundation Cup trial: Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters

Young Tigers half re-signs with the club

He is a talented fullback, and will no doubt put pressure on Tom Humble and  John Grant for the vacant halfback spot – but in forthcoming news for the Wests Tigers, young fullback James Tedesco has re-signed with the club for a further 3 years.

Things have moved quickly for the young prospect, who was playing SG Ball for the Western Suburb Magpies, before being named in the Australian Schoolboys side.

Now, following his representative duties, Tedesco has been elevated to the Tigers top 25, and is eager to get his first-grade career under way.

“I still can’t believe how fast things have happened but I’m not complaining at all,’’ Tedesco said.

“My focus this time last year was to play well for the Magpies to earn possibly a call up to train with the Wests Tigers U20s side or even to get a few games on the wing.”

Tedesco is likely to get some game time during the Tigers trial games, starting with their trial next weekend, against the Parramatta Eels.

The trial games will give the talented half the chance to show his commitment, and what he can bring to the table as a potential fullback option for the Tigers throughout the season.

“It has been a great experience training with the senior squad. The workload is a lot more than what I am used to but I’ve learnt so much already. I’m loving it,’’ Tedesco said.

“My goal this season is to play consistent football. There will be weeks when I will have my ups and downs but if I can find some consistency in the U20s, you never know what it may lead to.

“I’m just honoured to have my name mentioned as a candidate for the full-back role as there are some good players here fighting for the position.”

Wests Tigers Trial Matches Details Confirmed

Wests Tigers on Wednesday confirmed details of two big trial matches to be played on February 11 and 18.

The first trial match will be held against the Parramatta Eels at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford, on Saturday, February 11. Wests Tigers have a large following on the Central Coast and another bumper crowd is expected.

Three quality games of rugby league will be played at Bluetongue with the main NRL trial at 7.30pm.

The annual trial against the Roosters has traditionally been played at the Sydney Football Stadium but Wests Tigers is pleased to continue its recent trend of hosting more fixtures in Campbelltown.

Three trials will be played from 3.30pm. Tickets go on sale on Monday, January 23, from 9am through ProTicket and Wests Tigers Gearzone stores at Concord Oval and Campbelltown (Brands On Sale Outlet, Shop 234, 32 Queen Street).

Saturday, February 11, Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

3.30pm: NSW State Cup: Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers v Wentworthville
5.15pm: NYC: Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels
7.30pm: NRL: Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels.


Saturday, February 18, Campbelltown Sports Stadium

3.30pm: NSW State Cup: Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers v Newtown Jets
5.15pm: NYC: Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters
7.30pm: NRL: Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters

Tickets: On sale Monday, January 23, 9am

By Wests Tigers Media