Recap of last season

Receiving the first wooden spoon in the merger's history, the 2022 Wests Tigers struggled to produce consistency as their season never took off.

The Tigers showed extremely poor form, and suffered from injury, coaching changes and internal affairs impacting their season.

How can they improve

The Tigers lost 20 games in 2022, and have massive potential to improve. In 2022 they were stuck in defensive mode, and with poor defence conceded an average of 28.29 points per game, whilst only averaging 14.2 points per game.

If the Tigers can drastically improve their defensive efforts, particularly with the efforts of their boosted forward pack, and move the ball around faster to their explosive backs such as Nofoaluma and Staines, they may just be a contender for the Top 8.

List changes

IN: Apisai Koroisau (Panthers), Isaiah Papali'i (Eels), Triston Reilly (rugby union, Waratahs), David Nofoaluma (return from loan), Charlie Staines (Panthers), David Klemmer (Knights), John Bateman (Wigan), Will Smith (Hull FC), Brandon Wakeham (Bulldogs).

OUT: Luke Garner (Panthers), Kelma Tuilagi (Sea Eagles), Zane Musgrove (Dragons), Jock Madden (Broncos), James Tamou (Cowboys), Oliver Gildart (Dolphins), Jacob Liddle (Dragons), Tyrone Peachey (Panthers), Jackson Hastings (Knights).

Biggest Strength

The Tigers have been smart with their signings, as Tim Sheens takes the reigns. 

Whilst regaining the services of versatile back Tommy Talau and forward Shawn Blore, both of which failed to play any footy last season due to serious injuries, the Tigers have added some much-needed depth.

Securing the services of representative hooker Apisai Koroisau (Panthers), tough forward Isaiah Papali'i (Eels), NSW enforcer David Klemmer (Knights) and gun second-rower John Bateman (Super League), the Tigers have set themselves up with a much tougher forward pack heading into the 2023 season.

Biggest weakness

The biggest weakness for the Tigers in 2023 has to be the fresh combinations within the side. Between players returning from injuries and loans, as well as new recruits filling most of the forward pack, the Tigers will need to find their way as a side and create strong combinations early on in order to compete with the rest of the competition.

Being under a whole new coaching staff, in Tim Sheens, Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah, it will take a lot of hard work and guts from the Tigers to get far enough away from last year's wooden spoon.

Rising Star

After missing the majority of the 2022 season, Stefano Utoikamanu, who has played 33 NRL games since his debut in 2020, is a major star to watch in the 2023 season.

Tipped by many to crack the NSW Blues side, the 21-year-old prop made 9 tackle breaks, 192 tackles and 288 post-contact metres in only 9 games in 2022, with only 11 missed tackles.


Whilst the Tigers have a new look-forward pack and coaching staff, and a boosted back-line, only time will tell just how well this team will gel. Should they get it right early on, they will be a potential wildcard, however, compared to the strength of some of the other sides in the competition it doesn't seem likely that they will see the Top 8.

Ladder Prediction: 17th

Before you move on, why not give our Facebook page a like here. Or give our Twitter account a follow to keep up with our work here.