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Seyfarth gets his chance against Origin-hit Panthers

Wests Tigers head coach Michael Maguire has named a near-unchanged side for Friday night’s round 13 home game against the Penrith Panthers at Leichhardt Oval.

With backrower Joe Ofahengaue unavailable due to Queensland State of Origin commitments, local junior Alex Seyfarth – pictured above – has been named at lock as his replacement.
 
It will be Seyfarth’s first NRL game at Leichhardt Oval and follows a strong performance last week against the Dragons where he scored his first NRL try in the emphatic 34-18 victory – the fourth of the season for Wests Tigers.
 
Promising young forward Stefano Utoikamanu returns on the bench with Seyfarth promoted to the run-on side, joining Shawn Blore, Tom Amone and Thomas Mikaele among the interchange list.
 
Michael Chee Kam, Jake Simpkin, Tuki Simpkins and Kiah Cooper round out the 21-man squad as reserves.
 
After inking a new, two-year contract extension with the club on Tuesday, Jacob Liddle will once again start at hooker for the home side.

The two-year deal will see Liddle remain in Wests Tigers colours until at least the end of the 2023 NRL season.

Second row forward Luke Garner will play his 50th NRL game for the club against the Panthers, who will be missing half a dozen stars away on Origin duty. It will be a golden opportunity for Maguire’s side to make it five wins and boost the slim hopes of playing finals footy in September.

Despite being charged with a grade one shoulder charge offence in his side’s round 12 win, Luciano Leilua has been named to start in the back row ahead of his visit to the judiciary tonight (Tuesday) at 7:30pm.

If successful in getting the charge overturned, Leilua will be free to play this week while a guilty verdict would see him ruled out for the next two matches.

WESTS TIGERS – ROUND 13

1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Adam Doueihi
4. Tommy Talau
5. James Roberts
6. Moses Mbye
7. Luke Brooks
8. James Tamou (captain)
9. Jacob Liddle
10. Alex Twal
11. Luke Garner
12. Luciano Leilua
13. Alex Seyfarth

INTERCHANGE:
14. Stefano Utoikamanu
15. Shawn Blore
16. Tom Amone
17. Thomas Mikaele

RESERVES:
18. Michael Chee Kam
19. Jake Simpkin
20. Tuki Simpkins
21. Kiah Cooper



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