New Tigers pairing to be unveiled

14 February 2018 05:39:06 EST

Luke Brooks and Josh Reynolds will be Wests Tigers' halves pairing in their opening trial game against the Cowboys.

The duo will be in the spotlight in Cairns on Saturday as the joint venture club attempt to work nine new recruits into their line-up.

Brooks and Reynolds have the first opportunity in a match situation to build on their pre-season combination, following the latter's arrival on a four-year deal.

The Tigers won't have experienced playmaker Benji Marshall in their 30-man squad, but he expected to play in the club's final trial against Cronulla Sharks at Campbelltown Stadium on 24th February.

Brooks said it would be an important game for Ivan Cleary's side given that they have so many new faces.

"Hopefully I'll get a few minutes under my belt and work on that combo with Josh," he added. "Usually in the first trial you play 50 or 60 minutes. The last trial I'll play a bit more."

The 23-year-old has been urged by Cleary to have a more dominant role during pre-season, with the coach instructing him to play on both sides.

"It benefitted my game, not being stuck on one side. Nowadays it's halves either side but we wanted to go a more traditional way," he said. "I'm a half-back and Josh Reynolds is a five-eighth; that's going to help us."

The Cowboys will have Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott back from injuries that cut short their 2017 campaigns.

Cleary has told his side there are positions up for grabs and that he's looking for players to make their case during the trials.

Wests are 60/1 to win the NRL Grand Final, while the Tigers are 5/2 to finish in the top eight.

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