D-Day looms for retiring Wests Tigers star Robbie Farah, with coach Michael Maguire set to make a final call on the hooker after Thursday’s closed training session.
The Tigers will lock the doors at Leichhardt Oval as Farah is put through his paces in a bid to take part in Sunday’s do-or-die clash against the Sharks.
NRL.com understands Farah is remarkably now more likely than unlikely to feature in the match against Cronulla after a series of fitness tests over the past 48 hours.
The latest was a wrestling and contact session on Wednesday afternoon, in which the 35-year-old showed little discomfort in the leg he broke at ANZ Stadium just 25 days ago.
Farah has surprised club officials with the way he has trained to start the week but Thursday’s session behind closed doors will go a long way to determining whether he will play.
It is understood Maguire wants to make a final call on the make-up of his side after Thursday’s session to avoid the media circus that has been building throughout the week.
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The coach has also pushed forward his media responsibilities to Friday instead of Saturday to try and limit the speculation.
The premiership-winning coach wants to have his team settled before the Tigers hold their captain’s run on Saturday.
Farah's fellow 2005 premiership winner Benji Marshall says he has never seen his old mate work so hard around the clock in their 17 years of friendship.
"He's got no right to play this week," Marshall said on Wednesday.
"He hasn't said much. I think he just wanted to show everyone he could run [on Wednesday]. I couldn't believe it... when you look at the injury he had and the time frame of him back running, it's a credit to him that he's even in the picture.
"Today I was expecting him to go slow but he was sprinting. That sums him up - he's explored every avenue to get back. I wouldn't be surprised if he was there on Sunday."
Skipper Moses Mbye is in a similar position to Farah, with his hopes of playing to be determined after Thursday’s session.
Mbye and Farah now appear likely to take part in the game, which will throw a spanner in the works in regards to Josh Reynolds’s position in the team.
Reynolds, who has been impressive filling in at hooker off the bench the past fortnight, could have his 150th NRL appearance placed in jeopardy. Maguire will need cover on the bench for Farah so that could work in Reynolds’s favour.
"I think we've got a game plan that we're enjoying and can make work if Robbie doesn't play," Marshall said.
"I think the key for us is having Josh doing what he's doing off the bench, it's a big bonus for us.
"It's going to be interesting because we've built good momentum now without Robbie so the coach has got a big decision to weigh up. Does it add or not add to the way we're playing?
"The energy around the side has to be the same as it was this morning [regardless of whether he plays]."
Reynolds is the man who provides that energy in bucket loads but the former Bulldog may be forced to watch on from the sideline should Farah be fit.
"It's building like a movie, we'll find as the week goes on," Reynolds said.
"I think Robbie will play. The only thing he has to tick off now is contact. I'd love for him to play. I'm still a chance of playing even if he does play.
"I can't control what's going to happen. The coach will let me know as soon as he can if there's a role for me.
"Whatever happens, happens. As I've got older I've learnt to deal with hurdles before games."