How Benji sparked Farah's Wests Tigers homecoming

How Benji sparked Farah's Wests Tigers homecoming

You couldn't script it if you tried.

Robbie Farah officially stepped foot on the Wests Tigers bus on Thursday, 18 months after it motored on without him.

The man to pick him up and take him out to Campbelltown for his first training session?

Benji Marshall, the man who was in a similar boat after his departure from the joint-venture club five years ago.

Farah has revealed how a text message from Marshall floating the idea of a return to coach Ivan Cleary's new-look team sparked a reality he otherwise thought was close to impossible.

"Benji texted me and floated the idea and said would you come back, and I said in a heartbeat," Farah said.

"He said he would speak to Ivan and let me know, Benji got back to me and said Ivan was keen."

Farah's exit at the Tigers in 2016 was on a sour note, but both parties have since reconciled.

The final clearance for the 34-year-old hooker's return came with the board signing off on the deal in a meeting on Tuesday.

Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah.
Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah. ©weststigers.com.au

"I've got a strong emotional attachment to the club and that never changed," Farah said.

"You always have that fondness for the Tigers and that love. It feels surreal, I never thought it would happen or I'd be back here so soon.

"I'm glad it's been made possible by Ivan and everyone involved in the club that they've welcomed me back."

The time without Marshall and Farah together at the club dates back 1718 days.

"It's crazy, I've got goosebumps just thinking about it. Our careers went down separate paths but to get back and play together and have the opportunity to finish together – it's poetic I guess.

Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah in 2012.
Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah in 2012. ©NRL Photos

"We grew up together, started our careers here and it would be nice to get the opportunity to finish here."

But with Farah's return comes one final mission.

In a more worrying statistic, the gap between the club's last finals appearance is even worse than the pair's last game played together.

Along with club stalwart Chris Lawrence, they will be the last players at the club to have featured for the Tigers in finals football seven seasons ago.

But watching from afar, Farah has liked what Cleary has brought to the table.

"It's been a transformation of the Tigers this year," Farah said.

"In the past, we've always been known for the attacking flair whereas this year it's changed with a lot of grit with the way we've defended.

"The defence has been outstanding. I speak to a lot of boys regularly and the one thing is the Tigers will never get beat on effort.

"For the teams to have to beat the Tigers they have to turn up to play. That's something we have to continue."

We grew up together, started our careers here and it would be nice to get the opportunity to finish here.

Robbie Farah

The Tigers received another boost with the addition of Moses Mbye on Monday, completing their mandatory 30-man squad.

Farah said he and Mbye had two bye periods to get combinations going with the side before planning a charge towards the top eight.

"But we're not going to be the saviours and come here to change the way things have been going," Farah said.

"If I can provide a threat out of nine and Moses at one it can take pressure off the halves. For us, it's about integrating into that system and adding a few touches here and there helping the guys in the halves."