Lolohea injury to force NRL Tigers changes

By , 25/04/2020 19:36

Tuimoala Lolohea is expected to miss the Wests Tigers’ NRL match with Melbourne with injury.The door appears to have opened for David Nofoaluma to return to the Wests Tigers’ wing, with fullback Tuimoala Lolohea to miss the NRL clash with Melbourne due to injury.
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Lolohea trained away from the team during their captain’s run on Friday due to what’s believed to be a knee injury and didn’t fly with the team to Melbourne for Saturday’s game.

It’s likely to mean Corey Thompson will play fullback for the Tigers, after starting there in a pre-season trial, and Nofoaluma will return to the wing.

Nofoaluma, who was one of the club’s best players last year, was a shock omission from the Ivan Cleary’s round-one side after he was axed to reserve grade following what was understood to be a somewhat lacklustre pre-season in patches.

A regular at the Tigers since 2013 and one of the first to re-sign when Cleary took the team on last year, Nofoaluma responded with two tries in the Wests Magpies’ 32-10 win over Canterbury.

The 24-year-old Tigers junior was also the only outside back named on the club’s extended bench earlier this week.

Centre Esan Marsters is also expected to take over the goal-kicking duties in place of Lolohea, who nailed a sideline conversion to shock pre-season favourites the Sydney Roosters last week.

The Tigers will travel to Melbourne as distinct outsiders, with the Storm hoping to celebrate Billy Slater’s 300th NRL game with a big win at AAMI Park.

Not that Cleary is concerned.

“I think this is my 22nd game here and I don’t think we have been favourites once,” he said.

“We are used to being outsiders and it really doesn’t make any difference to us.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity for us to play the best team in a big game – a milestone game.

“It’s a good opportunity to see where we are and test ourselves.”

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