Tedesco should expect plenty of boos from Tigers fans: Lawrence
Wests Tigers captain Chris Lawrence says James Tedesco knows he will be booed by the fans at ANZ Stadium on Saturday but the club's former star fullback will no doubt be expecting the jeers.
Tedesco will face his junior club in his first NRL match for the Sydney Roosters and Lawrence said it was unlikely the taunts would affect the NSW State of Origin star.
"Yeah, I’m sure he will get a couple of boos from Tigers fans but that is all part and parcel, you know," he said.
"The Tigers fans are a passionate bunch so I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a few boos for him but I’m sure he’ll be expecting that.
"He will obviously be looking to have a big game against his old club and we’re going to be doing our best to shut him down."
Coming off the back of a reasonable trials display, Lawrence says the Wests Tigers could not wait to get the Telstra Premiership campaign underway.
"We’ve ramped up training again after that last trial. The week off, they’ve [coaches] got stuck into us to make sure we’re raring to go for round one," he said.
"The energy and all the enthusiasm from the boys from Monday this week really shows everyone is ready for this game. Everyone is excited, it’s been a long pre-season so we are just looking forward to getting out there."
Lawrence is confident their new-look spine, featuring new halves Josh Reynolds and Luke Brooks, would start the competition on the front foot after ironing out a few kinks in the pre-season.
"We’ve got a new spine like the Roosters do so the combinations are going to take time. Some of the plays and structures we are working on are going to take a bit of time so for us, it’s just focusing on some of those little areas that are going to win you the games in the early rounds," he said.
"It’s definitely been building, obviously being a new combination in training is different to a game.
"We’ve learnt a lot from the first two trials; we were still a bit patchy in both trials when we had the ball in attack so we’ve been working on that and it is really starting to come together."
Ivan Cleary has listed Samoan international David Nofoaluma in the four-man reserves list and Lawrence said the decision to omit him from the 17-man squad was yet another example of the coach setting standards on individual performance at training and in games.
"He’s [Cleary] brought discipline and accountability. He has really been big on the effort areas in the game that a lot of people might not see but are really important to a team performance and making sure that everyone knows their role and what they have to do," he said.
"I think it shows that he is going to reward those guys who have been training well, who performed in the trials and who are in good form.
"It’s a real wake-up call to everyone in the side that reputations mean nothing and that if we aren’t performing on the field and consistently on the training paddock and implementing what our role is within the team, then we’re not going to get picked.
"I’m sure David will be back in the side in the not too distant future but it’s really good to give someone like Corey Thompson whose probably been our best in our last two trials to show that if you’re playing good footy, you’re going to get a crack."