He can’t get any play time at present, but young Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle has inked a new deal that will see him at the club until the end of the 2021 season.
At least Liddle has signed the new contract knowing that Robbie Farah has announced his retirement at the end of this season, so the hooking post will be up for grabs from 2020.
But he’s also got to be ready, willing and able if something happens to Farah between now and the end of the 2019 campaign.
A junior representative standout, Liddle made his first-grade debut for Wests Tigers in 2016 – his only appearance that season – before playing 13 games the following year in a strong campaign that saw him named the club’s NRL rookie of the year.
Still only 22 years of age, Liddle has already chalked up 36 games in his NRL career including five tries and has featured nine times for Michael Maguire’s side in 2019.
The Wyong Roos junior said he was delighted to extend his future with Wests Tigers.
“It’s great to stay here – I’m really happy with the club at the moment,” Liddle said.
“This team is definitely going in the right direction with Michael Maguire and the team is playing really well as a result and I just want to keep being a part of it.
“I know there’s a big opportunity for me now going forward, but there’s also a big opportunity this year to keep contributing where I can. Our team is in a great position and I want to make sure I keep doing everything I can to help with that.”
Wests Tigers head coach Michael Maguire, pictured below, praised Liddle’s professionalism on and off the field, and said he looked forward to watching the hooker continue his development.
“I’m really excited to see Jacob commit his future to Wests Tigers,” Maguire said.
“I’ve been thoroughly impressed with his character and the way he has developed as a player both on and off the field this year. He has shown tremendous progress and I look forward to watching him now take the next steps in his career,’’ Maguire said.
Maguire has named an unchanged lineup to take on the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night from 7.35pm.
Wests Tigers, who are in eighth spot with 20 premiership points, will be shooting for their third win on the trot after downing the Cowboys 28-4 last Thursday night.
But they will be wary of the improving Dogs, who beat them in their round three encounter way back in March at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
WESTS TIGERS V BULLDOGS:
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. Oliver Clark
11. Luke Garner
12. Michael Chee Kam
13. Ryan Matterson
14. Matt Eisenhuth
15. Thomas Mikaele
16. Alex Twal
17. Chris Lawrence