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Justin Matamua rewarded for sensational debut for Wests Tigers

Campbelltown junior Justin Matamua was one of the few bright spots for the Wests Tigers when they went down 28-20 to the Eels at Leichhardt Oval last Saturday.

Matamua was unlucky to be sinbinned but made amends when he returned with a sensational debut.

He has now been elevated to the starting side for the match against Penrith this Sunday.

The young forward is one of several talented juniors coming through the Macarthur pathways, which is another reason it’s time the club made a decision on where it will based long term.

It’s certainly odd to be writing – again – that in round 18 Wests Tigers are at home in Parramatta of all places.

There’s talk that the winds of change are blowing hard for 2023, so time will tell.

In the meantime the club is desperate to break its five match losing streak.

Penrith have already announced that their Origin players will be rested, so this could be the opportunity for Wests Tigers to move away from the dreaded wooden spoon.

As the whole world knows by now, Wests Tigers have named Jackson Hastings from the halves to lock as part of a raft of changes from last week’s side.
Adam Doueihi has been moved from the centres to five eighth to partner Luke Brooks in the halves.

Veteran James Tamou returns from a calf injury to play his 299th NRL game.
James Roberts and Ken Maumalo are also in the side named, while Stefano Utoikamanu has been ruled out through a wrist injury.
Wests and Penrith be playing for the inaugural Royce Simmons Cup with funds raised at the game directed to the Royce Simmons Foundation.

Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers, 2pm Sunday, CommBank Stadium

1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Starford To’a
4. James Roberts
5. Ken Maumalo
6.  Adam Doueihi
7.  Luke Brooks
8.  Joe Ofahengaue
9.  Fa’amanu Brown 
10. Zane Musgrove
11. Justin Matamua
12. Kelma Tuilagi
13. Jackson Hastings

INTERCHANGE

14. Fonua Pole
15. James Tamou
16. Luke Garner 
17. Jake Simpkin

18. Austin Dias
19. Jock Madden 
20. Junior Tupou
21. Asu Kepaoa
22. Alex Seyfarth

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