Alex Twal is set to headline a long list of key returns for the Wests Tigers on Friday night as he aims to stiffen their pack against the Warriors.
Twal will make his return after a five-week absence at the SCG on Friday night, as one of the most underrated middles in the competition.
Coach Michael Maguire confirmed on Thursday that Luke Garner (concussion) and Thomas Mikaele (knee) were also set to return.
Adam Doueihi and Sam McIntyre are also expected to be fit to play, after suffering concussions in last week’s loss to Parramatta.
But it’s Twal’s comeback that is set to make the biggest difference.
The 24-year-old has been increasingly reliable for the Tigers this year, averaging the most tackles of any prop or back-rower in the competition this year with 43.
“He’s worked extremely hard, he’s a real pro Twally. I really love coaching him. He’s definitely my style of player,” Maguire said.
“I think Twally throughout this season has really gone to another level in his game.
“Not only on the park but off the park.
“He’s a leader now in the group. And the way he goes about things is something a lot of the younger guys are watching. That’s why he’s playing good footy.”
The Tigers are also hoping to have Michael Chee Kam back by as soon as next week, after his sickening concussion against Parramatta.
Chee Kam convulsed on the ground after getting his head caught in the wrong place trying to make a tackle in the loss, and was immediately taken to hospital.
However he is now on track to return, with scans showing no damage and the second-rower feeling healthy.
“He should be right next week,” Maguire said.
“I think he had (a test) yesterday and it showed all positive signs and all is okay.
“It’s a tough thing to watch your player go through. But with what they do now with all the checking of head knocks they are pretty thorough.”