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Galloway, Tuiaki ruled out for Tigers

By Todd Balym 13/06/2008 06:18:57 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers have suffered a severe double blow ahead of Sunday's crucial NRL clash with Parramatta with two of their biggest players Keith Galloway and Taniela Tuiaki ruled out with injury.

Prop Galloway has succumbed to a foot injury while hulking winger Tuiaki has been hospitalised after a boil on his arm became infected.

The losses further depleted the Tigers lineup already missing props Todd Payten (hamstring), Bryce Gibbs (knee) and Ryan O'Hara (jaw) plus lock forward Liam Fulton (shoulder).

It is a huge burden for the Tigers to carry into the game against powerhouse forwards like Nathan Cayless and Fuifui Moimoi, plus rookie winger Tony Williams who weighs in at 113kg.

Prop Tevita Metuisela and back-rower Rocky Trimarchi have been called into the Wests Tigers squad, while Beau Ryan was moved to the wing to replace Tuiaki.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens had forecast this would be a difficult match for his side to cover the injuries among his big men but is confident the players will enter with the right attitude to combat their lack of size.

"We are having a very tough run with injuries," Sheens said.

"We have been training well all week and the players are very positive and focused.

"Tevita and Rocky are in our full-time squad and have been training well throughout the season.

"They have been busting to get another crack in first grade and now they have their opportunity again, I know they will give it their all.

"We will turn up in the right frame of mind."

Meanwhile, the Tigers have finally opened talks to extend Mathew Head's career at the club, but the halfback feels like everyone has just been waiting for him to break down again.

After two knee reconstructions crippled his finals years at St George Illawarra and a shoulder injury cut short his opportunities with Hull in England, Head joined the Tigers on a one-year contract in 2008.

It was his final chance to prove he wasn't injury-prone and could make a career of rugby league.

Eight NRL games in succession has since proven to Head he's overcome his injury battles, but the 26-year-old feels like the jury is still out among NRL clubs.

"I know where clubs stand. They've seen that I've been injured the last couple of years and I suppose some clubs or maybe even the Tigers are waiting for me to get injured again," Head told AAP.

"I've just got to prove that is not the case and my body is right now and I'm really enjoying it here at the club.

"I just have to keep playing how I'm playing and hope that something comes."

Tigers coach Tim Sheens confirmed he would put an offer to Head's manager this week easing the player's concerns that he may be forced to find his fourth club in three years.

Head is really keen to remain at the Tigers, not only to repay the lifeline they threw him when he returned from England but because he senses big things are capable at the club.

"I think 2005 (premiership win) showed what the Tigers can do. I think we've got a team the same as that," he said.

"A great attacking team and we can be a great defensive team when we knuckle down.

"If we can rock up on the day with the right attitude we're going to beat most teams and we've just got to keep proving to ourselves that we can do it.

"I think I'm starting to get a little bit of consistency there and still each week I'm on the verge of just making my spot, the number seven, my own.

"I've just got to keep working hard during the week and the extras which I've been doing."

Head and the Tigers will face a tough test at ANZ Stadium on Sunday when they confront Parramatta and field an injury-depleted lineup.

Hulking winger Taniela Tuiaki was ruled out due to an infected boil on his arm, with Beau Ryan added to the side.

Prop Keith Galloway remains in doubt with a foot injury and will be given until an hour before kick off to prove his fitness.

The loss of Tuiaki and possibly Galloway would be a cruel blow to the Tigers who are already without big props Todd Payten, Ryan O'Hara and Bryce Gibbs.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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