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Wests Tigers sign Brent Naden after his release from the Bulldogs

The most interesting name on the Wests Tigers team for their round 11 clash with the Bulldogs is on the reserves list.

On the weekend Brent Naden ran out for the Bulldogs, but this Friday he is believed to be a good chance to be wearing a Wests Tigers jumper with number 21 on the back and play against what was his team until this morning.

It means that a bit of the turmoil engulfing the Belmore club has spread to the Wests Tigers, who need it like they need a hole in the head. Social media was awash this afternoon with comments from fans and others about the Naden switch.

Two wins from 10 matches have the Wests Tigers trying to avoid their first ever wooden spoon. And a mounting injury toll is there, to be sure, but let’s be honest: if Brent Naden was performing well would Bulldogs general manager Phil Gould release him effective immediately? Well, we all know the answer to that.

Apart from bringing Tim Sheens back into the fold, the Wests Tigers management have been mediocre at best, and this signing is just more confirmation of their incompetence.

As for the coach, you have got to feel for Michael Maguire, who had enough problems before injuries robbed him of any hope he had of a measure of success in 2022.

At least it looks like he’s not going to be sacked and indeed he will be there until the bitter end of this woeful season for everyone involved with the Wests Tigers.

Given the injuries, Maguire has made several changes to the side that went down 36-12 to the Cowboys in Brisbane on Sunday night.

Wests Tigers celebrate an early try against the Cowboys in Brisbane as part of Magic Round.

Recent recruit Fa’amanu Brown is in line to play his first game for the club after being named to make his debut off the interchange bench.

The 27-year-old has played 36 NRL games with Cronulla and Canterbury and recently returned to Australia after a stint in the UK playing with championship side with Featherstone.

Jake Simpkin’s first-half concussion against North Queensland has forced him out, with Jacob Liddle taking his place at hooker. Luke Brooks has a hamstring complaint and has been ruled out, with Jock Madden starting at five-eighth.

AJ Kepaoa returns from his CoviD-enforced break to play centre, meaning Luke Garner shifts to the second row, with Kelma Tuilagi moving to the interchange bench. Alex Seyfarth and Junior Pauga drop off the interchange bench to the reserves list.

Kick off on Friday night at Leichhardt is 6pm.

1. Starford To’a
2. Junior Tupou
3. AJ Kepaoa
4. Tyrone Peachey
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Jock Madden
7. Jackson Hastings
8. James Tamou 
9.  Jacob Liddle
10. Zane Musgrove
11. Luke Garner
12. Luciano Leilua
13. Joe Ofahengaue

INTERCHANGE

14. Kelma Tuilagi
15. Alex Twal
16. Fa’amanu Brown
17. Stefano Utoikamanu

RESERVES

18. Alex Seyfarth 
19. Oliver Gildart
20. Thomas Mikaele
21. Brent Naden 
22. Junior Pauga
23. Tuki Simpkins
24. Fonua Pole

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