Tigers players want to stay at Leichhardt
Wests Tigers players have made their intentions clear: We want to stay at Leichhardt.
Sunday afternoon's clash against Canberra will be the first game at the suburban venue since Balmain officially forfeited their lease late last month.
It is just one of two Wests Tigers games to be played there, with the other being their Round 13 clash against the Titans.
Beyond that, their relationship with the historic ground is up in the air. Discussions with the Leichhardt Council are ongoing, and the club's board are due to meet at the end of this month to decide on whether to now take their games elsewhere.
"It'd be very disappointing," skipper Robbie Farah said on Wednesday.
"It's no secret that I love playing there, being a local boy. The other local boys have grown up playing there for many years. It's been a part of our footy career, not only for our first grade career, but growing up as well, through our childhood.
"It would be a shame [to leave], so hopefully the club can do something to ensure we're still there for many years to come."
Five-eighth Mitchell Moses, whose uncle Ben Elias is synonymous with the famed venue, said it was his favourite ground to play at in the competition.
"I grew up playing there and it's the best ground, so close to the crowd. You can hear them when you're on the field. It's my favourite ground and if it's taken away from us it'll be pretty upsetting," he said.
"I pretty much stay out of [the boardroom talks]. But we'll be pretty upset if that's taken away from us. Hopefully it stays.
"It's always packed out... You run out looking out to that hill there, it's packed out every week no matter how the team's going. Win or lose, you know it's going to be packed out. It's just so loud, and you're so close to everything."
The Tigers will be hoping to rebound from last week's defeat in Auckland when they welcome ex-teammate Blake Austin and the Raiders on Sunday afternoon.
Austin departed Concord in search of a permanent halves position in Canberra, where he has since thrived under the coaching of Ricky Stuart.
His improvement in form hasn't reflected on the team's lowly position on the ladder, however Tigers players are certainly aware of the threat the 24-year-old poses.
"He's a good runner of the ball. He showed that in the first couple of rounds. He made a few line breaks. [But] if we stick to our structures this week, we can come away with a win," Moses said.
Farah was also quick to sing the ex-Tiger's praises.
"He's been going really well, Blake. He'd definitely be a big danger for us," Farah said.
"He loves running the ball, so for us, we have to be on our guard against him. He'll be up for a big game too against his old club.
"[They're] very similar to us, they've had some really good wins and a couple of close losses. They would've taken a lot out of the loss that they had on the weekend to Melbourne. I thought they played some good footy.
"As I said, Blake Austin's been a good addition, [Iosia] Soliola I think has been going really good for them coming back over from the Super League. It's going to be a tough game."