The season isn’t quite gone, but it looks like Wests Tigers head coach Michael Maguire is starting to look ahead to season 2020.
One of the first victims of the renewal process seems to be Robert Jennings, who has had an ordinary year since coming across from Souths this season.
He was particularly pedestrian in the loss to Parramatta at Western Sydney Stadium on Sunday.
Jennings has gone to make way for Paul Momirovski in the side named to take on Canberra in the nation’s capital this Saturday night in round 18 of the NRL premiership.
But an even bigger signal from the coach that it’s time to start planning for next season is the inclusion of a 19-year-old rookie amongst the reserves.
Tommy Talau has been named in the squad in jersey number 18 but is more than likely to make his NRL debut against the Raiders.
Having signed with the club at the start of the year as a development player, Talau was recently upgraded to the club’s NRL squad prior to the June 30 deadline.
The son of former Bulldogs player Willie Talau, Tommy Talau has played primarily at centre for the club’s Canterbury Cup side in 2019 but is also capable of covering the wing or five-eighth with his athletic frame and ball-playing ability.
As for Momirovski, pictured, who has been named on the wing for the first time in his career at Wests Tigers, he has been unlucky not to play more games in his debut season for Wests Tigers.
Momirovski, an Alexandria Rovers junior, has featured at centre or off the bench in his four appearances to date.
Wests Tigers are otherwise unchanged for Saturday’s clash against Raiders, with Robbie Farah set to play his 299th NRL game.
The veteran hooker can join Benji Marshall in the exclusive 300 game club next week when Wests Tigers take on the Newcastle Knights.
Assuming of course the coach doesn’t take the renewal of the squad to a higher level as the season draws to a close.
Wests Tigers Round 18 team is:
1. Corey Thompson
2. Paul Momirovski
3. Moses Mbye (captain)
4. Esan Marsters
5. David Nofoaluma
6. Benji Marshall
7. Luke Brooks
8. Josh Aloiai
9. Robbie Farah
10. Alex Twal
11. Ryan Matterson
12. Chris Lawrence
13. Matt Eisenhuth
14. Jacob Liddle
15. Thomas Mikaele
16. Elijah Taylor
17. Michael Chee Kam
18. Tommy Talau
19. Chris McQueen
20. Luke Garner
21. Oliver Clark