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Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has named two of his former Warriors charges amongst a five-man captaincy group that will lead the joint venture in 2018. Elijah Taylor, who joined the Tigers from Penrith midway through 2016, and new recruit Russell Packer will share the leadership duties with their former Kiwi Test teammate Benji Marshall, and Josh Reynolds and Chris Lawrence.

Taylor and Packer were part of the Cleary-coached Warriors 2011 grand final squad, while Taylor also played under Cleary at the Panthers. The Tigers’ Round 9 clash with the Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium shapes as a major homecoming, with ex-Warriors Tuimoala Lolohea, Ben Matulino and Pita Godinet also on the Tigers’ books.

Via Wests Tigers Media

Wests Tigers have today announced that Head Coach Ivan Cleary has named five leaders tasked with sharing captaincy duties ahead of the 2018 season.

The group features 2017 Wests Tigers vice captain Chris Lawrence and fellow leadership group member Elijah Taylor, club Life Member Benji Marshall and new recruits Russell Packer and Josh Reynolds.

Cleary said that he believed that this model was the correct one for Wests Tigers.

“When we started this preseason it was pretty obvious straight away that there was no real pecking order,” said Cleary. “There was no set culture to adhere to. It was all new. That was what I wanted it to be like and that’s just how it panned out.

“With this particular team at this time I think it’s going to work best to spread that role and allow those blokes to develop in their own way,” he said.

Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe congratulated the players on their appointment.

“Everyone at the club is incredibly proud of how the players have come together in such a short period of time and have begun to build their own culture and identity as a team,” said Pascoe. “I’m sure that Chris, Elijah, Benji, Russell and Josh will do the club, its partners, Members and fans proud in the way they lead Wests Tigers both on and off the field over the coming year.

“A lot is demanded of an NRL captain these days and in naming these five players, the club is drawing on the experience and qualities of these men,” he said. “Each of them brings their own background and story to the role and I’m sure that we’ll see it bring the best out of them, and in turn be beneficial for the organisation as a whole.”

Wests Tigers new look side will take to the field for the first time this Saturday night in a trial match against the North Queensland Cowboys at Barlow Park, Cairns.

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