Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall is confident that Greg Inglis can help Jahream Bula be even better in his second season in the NRL. The 22-year-old fullback was one of the few bright sparks at the Tigers in 2023 but even he was unable to prevent the side from picking up a second-successive wooden spoon.
Marshall sees the potential in the youngster and wants to help him avoid any second-year syndrome. When informed that Inglis would be personally helping Bula with his game, the 22-year-old said he "felt like crying". And Marshall is banking on the pair's chemistry to bring out the best from the fullback.
"I haven't had a lot to do with Greg personally, but him and Jahream have a really good relationship," Marshall said. "They probably remind me a lot of each other off the field, they are really quiet guys and don't like talking too much, but he will be great for Jahream off the field. He won't get too involved with things in the club but it's been good having him around."
Marshall has a difficult task ahead of him, trying to bring life into a Tigers side that has offered very little for more than a decade. In an attempt to revitalise the side, the club legend has brought in Canberra halfback Aiden Sezer, ex-Melbourne centre Justin Olam and for the 2025 season Penrith five-eighth Jarome Luai. Marshall has confirmed Sezer will replace Luke Brooks as halfback after he left the club at the end of last year to join Manly but who will join him in the halves is yet to be decided.
Youngsters Jayden Sullivan, Latu Fainu and Lachlan Galvin are all in the running for the vacant No.6 role and Marshall said spots in the club have to be earned. "With our team, one thing I've made really clear is no spots are guaranteed, you've got to earn it here," Marshall said. "Trials are part of it, but over the last 14 weeks people have shown signs if they want to be in the team or not."
Benji Marshall says the Tigers will let their performances do the talking
Marshall is tasked with ending the club's 12-year finals drought but will not be making any big promises for the season ahead. While he refused to speculate where the club might finish in 2024, he said the team will do their talking on the field.
"Our fans are the greatest fans in the world … when we had success in 2005 it was rocking," Marshall said. "I understand the frustration around not having success and how hard that can be. All they've heard is talk from us over the past 10 years and it's pretty clear it doesn't matter what we are saying, it's the actions we do."
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