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Hopes boosted as Wests Tigers stars return from injuries

Fullback Daine Laurie is back for Indigenous Round.

With a stack of players returning from injuries, Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire has been forced to make a lot of changes for this week’s game against South Sydney.

Following the 36-22 victory over the Bulldogs last Friday, which suddenly has the side just two wins out of the top eight, things have started to look a bit rosy.

Stars Luke Brooks and Daine Laurie are among personnel returning from injury, giving the coach a good headache in terms of team selection.

But he has had to do a lot of juggling in naming the side for the vital clash with the Rabbitohs.

Laurie returns to the line-up at fullback, five weeks after suffering a knee injury against Souths in round seven.

His return pushes Starford To’a to the centres, with Tyrone Peachey named on an extended bench.
Luke Brooks is back from a minor hamstring complaint in place of Jock Madden, while Jake Simpkin (concussion) takes over from Jacob Liddle at hooker.

 But the juggling doesn’t end there: AJ Kepaoa also makes his comeback on the wing, meaning 19-year-old Junior Tupou is out.

However recent Wests Tigers debutants Brent Naden and Fa’amanu Brown both retain their positions in the side.

David Nofoaluma (concussion) has also been named in the extended squad.

In other club news, prop Thomas Mikaele has been released from his contract to join the UK Super League, effective immediately.

 Mikaele has spent the last three and a half seasons with Wests Tigers.

 His exit frees up one place in the Wests Tigers 30-man playing roster which is expected to be filled in the coming weeks.

The team for the Souths game is:

1. Daine Laurie
2. AJ Kepaoa
3. Starford To’a
4. Brent Naden
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Luke Brooks
7. Jackson Hastings
8. James Tamou 
9.  Jake Simpkin
10. Zane Musgrove
11. Luke Garner

12. Luciano Leilua
13. Joe Ofahengaue

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

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