Wests Tigers captain puts team and himself on notice following poor start to the season

Wests Tigers captain James Tamou says it’s not just dumped centre Joey Leilua that needs to “look in the mirror” following a substandard start to the season, conceding he also isn’t happy with his form.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire dropped Leilua following last weekend’s big loss to the Roosters after he produced a poor display.

Tamou respects Maguire’s decision, but believes there are plenty of Tigers players that need to be better – including himself.

“It is not just Joey,” Tamou said about Tigers players that need to aim up.

“It is all of us that need to look in the mirror and make some changes, myself especially.

“Us middles have had some deep discussions this week and we want to keep it simple play our game.”

Joey Leilua isn’t the only Wests Tigers player that must aim up, according to Tigers captain James Tamou. Digital image: Robb Cox � NRL PhotosSource:The Daily Telegraph

Leilua has been accused of lacking effort and being lazy following his average display against the Roosters, which included seven missed tackles from his nine tackle attempts.

Tamou, though, doesn’t agree with the critics and says the former Roosters, Knights and Raiders back has been one of the Tigers’ leading trainers.

“The boys were saying he has been the best trainer this pre-season with doing extras and things like that,” he said.

“A few of the boys have said this is the best we’ve seen of him, so I don’t think he is far off.

“When he is at his best, he is devastating so we will definitely need him during the year.”

The Tigers have received a boost for Sunday’s clash against the unbeaten Newcastle Knights with prop Zane Musgrove to return from suspension.

Musgrove missed the opening two rounds after copping a shoulder charge suspension in the pre-season All-Stars game.

Zane Musgrove (2nd left) during a Wests Tigers NRL training session in Sydney, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.Source:AAP

Tamou believes the former South Sydney prop is primed for a big performance against the Knights.

“He (Zane) is itching to get going and he has been like a caged animal, so he is ready to unleash,” he said.

“He has been watching from the sidelines in the last couple of weeks and he is hurting as well.

“He is ready to play, and I can’t wait to play alongside him.

“He is aggressive in the middle and connects us – everything we need to be better.”

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