Here’s our look at the 2015 key signings for Wests Tigers.
Kevin Naiqama’s career has been stop-start to say the least. Despite being blessed with speed and good footwork, he has struggled to cement a 1st grade spot. Having started at the Newcastle Knights to play alongside his brother Wes, he only managed 15 games in four years. After again following his brother to the Panthers, this season he managed seven tries in eight appearances. But, with the depth at the foot of the mountain very deep, Naiqama needed a change. Hence, signing with the Tigers. However, he may struggle to make this side either. Pat Richards and David Nofoaluma have the wing spots tied down so it could be a case of same-old for the young Fijian.
While Parramatta have spent over 20 years trying to replace their great halfback, Peter Sterling, Manly in recent times have made a habit of finding quality young halves. Foran and Cherry-Evans are the current partnership but before Cherry-Evans was Trent Hodkinson. Another young halfback originally talked in that mould was Josh Drinkwater. A failed move to the Dragons stunted his growth before he was forced to move to England to reignite his career. Now at the Tigers and sitting behind Mitch Moses and Luke Brooks, he will be looking to impress if he is given the opportunity.
It’s been a quiet off-season in terms of recruitment for the Tigers so the third ‘key’ signing/ only signing is Chance Peni. A young player from the Knights under 20s minor-premiership squad, this will be his first chance to train with a first-grade squad. Unlikely to get a chance in the top grade this season, he could be one to look for after a solid season in NSW Cup.