Young Tigers need to be pushed: Tamou

Pamela WhaleyAAP
West Tigers are in training and targeting a first NRL Finals appearance since 2011.
Camera IconWest Tigers are in training and targeting a first NRL Finals appearance since 2011.

James Tamou hasn't been given the official role as Wests Tigers captain yet but said the young side needs a push to break an NRL finals drought in 2021.

The former Penrith skipper is favourite to be given the reins before round one after making an immediate impact over the pre-season.

And after the Tigers failed to make the finals for the ninth year in a row in 2020, it will take a mighty boost to get the side into the top eight.

"Most of these younger guys will sort of be going through the ebbs and flows but to go to the next level you sometimes need an extra push," he said on Friday.

"These guys, some of them are stronger than me, quicker than me, this younger generation is just getting better so it's about letting them build that confidence."

The Tigers have shed Josh Reynolds, Josh Aloiai, Chris Lawrence and Benji Marshall for this year, meaning the former Australia and NSW prop is easily the most experienced player in the group.

Having won a premiership with North Queensland in 2015 and helping the Panthers to the grand final last season, his knowledge will be essential to the Tigers who are desperate for success.

One such player is David Nofoaluma, who re-signed with the club on Thursday for four years despite interest from rival NRL clubs.

Last season he was named Dally M winger of the year but the 27-year-old is aiming at higher honours.

"I want to go to another level," he said.

"I have high hopes of playing for NSW, that's something that's on the radar this season so I'm just going to keep improving on myself this season and hopefully get that opportunity."

Tigers coach Michael Maguire changed the backline regularly last season but Nofoaluma is hoping a steady centre partner in James Roberts will give them both their best chance of success.

"I've still got to improve on some things but I'm just glad I'm working with the players I've got here now," he said.

"It was a bit hard last year with the players changing around, so there's a bit of a solid team now where I can work on the combinations with the players around me.

"If I was coming up against myself and Jimmy I'd be a bit worried."

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