With immediate Salary Cap space available now and more coming at seasons end, there is a great opportunity for the Wests Tigers to really invest in some quality outside backs.
In my opinion, The Tigers forward pack besides maybe adding an elite lock such as Nat Butcher doesn’t at the moment really need any more additions.
On the other hand, I feel that the Tigers backline could really use an injection of talent in order for the team to become finals contenders.
This article will focus on Centres and Wingers as there is already an article on Wests Tigers Podcasts focusing which Players the Tigers should target to play in the number 1 Jersey.
Josh Addo-Carr (Winger)
To address the elephant in the room, The Tigers should absolutely move heaven and earth to sign the Fox.
The Australian and State of Origin star in my opinion is the best Winger in the competition and would add so much to the team’s attack with his speed and ability to find the try line.
I would highly recommend watching the try Addo-Carr scored against the Eels in week 2 of the 2019 finals.
Rumour has it that Blake Ferguson is still wiping off the dust marks he got from being burnt on the outside by the Fox off his jersey.
However, any potential moves back to Sydney for Addo-Carr is directly in the control of the Melbourne Storm.
If the rumors are to be true, the Bulldogs are willing to trade young playmaker Lachlan Lewis in exchange for Addo-Carr which is a hard deal to match for any club.
Therefore, it seems unlikely that Tigers fans will get to see Addo- Carr in the black in orange any time soon.
However, there remains a chance that the Tigers can make some sort of deal as it is rumored that the Club is Addo-Carr’s first preference.
Nick Cotric (Winger/Centre)
Having achieved so much in the game already including both a state of origin and international debut for Australia, it’s easy to forget that Nick Cotric is only 21 years old.
The Canberra Winger has established himself as one of the most damaging ball runner in the competition.
Nick Cotric is off-contract at the end of the 2020 season and there is a rumor going around that the state of origin player wants to move away from the wing.
Based off the rumor, it is not clear if this means that Cotric wants to play centre of even Fullback but either way, the Tigers should be going hard for his signature.
Cotric actually came through the grades at Canberra as a Centre and I have no doubt that he has the potential to be the best Centre in the competition.
With established centres in Jarrod Crocker, Joseph Leilua and Curtis Scott already at the Raiders, the Tigers should take this opportunity to throw the kitchen sink at Cotric as he would drastically improve our backline in terms of ball running ability.
Billy Smith (Centre)
Earmarked as the replacement for Latrell Mitchell this season at the Roosters at centre, Billy Smith has been tipped to have a breakout season.
Having looked impressive on his debut for the Roosters in 2019, the only reason I have Smith on the list is because there are rumors going around online that the Tigers are after chasing his services.
Before everyone jumps at me about how he will never leave the Roosters, hear me out. If you think that the Roosters with money to spend in their cap are going to replace a generational talent in Latrell Mitchell with an untried Rookie long term, then you haven’t been paying attention.
There are various rumors that the Roosters are chasing young superstar Bronson Xerri and unfortunately for Sharks fans, Nick Politis almost never misses his man.
It also doesn’t help that Xerri is best mates with Kyle Flanagan whose father Shane had an ugly split with the Sharks has also joined the Roosters.
If the Roosters sign Xerri then except the Tigers to make a play for Smith as they look to improve their outside back stock
Moses Suli (Centre)
This selection is more of a hope than anything but nobody knows the discussions that are taking place behind the closed doors of Concord.
Against Souths in the Semifinals, Moses Suli in my opinion established himself as one of the most dangerous outside backs in the competition due to his size, speed and ability to fend his opposition player.
In an ironic way, that preference in my mind justified why the Tigers signed Suli to the highest salary of any rookie yet to make their NRL debut. However, as Tigers fans know, Footy can be cruel and Suli is now fulfilling his potential at Manly.
However Manly have invested a lot of their salary cap to players like Daly Cherry-Evans, Martin Taupau and the Trbojevic brothers so one must wonder how much money they would realistically have to resign Suli who is off-contract at the end of this year.
This might be a pipe dream but the addition of Suli would be devastating to opposition teams.
Tesi Nui (Centre/ Winger/ Fullback)
For those who don’t know, Tesi Nui is an up and coming superstar from the Brisbane Broncos who has already made his debut for Tonga at the age of 18 years old.
Nui first caught my attention in the under 18’s state of origin in 2019 where he played in the centres. Nui in that game registered two tries, 1 try assist and ran for an impressive 297 metres.
The young Broncos player in his Tongan debut also ran for 182 metres against a tier 1 nation in Great Britain.
There is no doubt in my mind that Tesi Nui will be a star in the NRL in the not too distant future and with the Brisbane Broncos backline being stacked, Michael Maguire should go hard for the young outside back who would add speed and tackling breaking ability to the Tigers backline.