Cleary reunion plans
Wests Tigers success in signing Ben Matulino could help former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary lure another one of his former players to the joint venture club. It's understood a big reason why the Tigers shelled out more than $2 million for Matulino is his strong friendship with St George Illawarra and former Warriors prop Russell Packer. In snaring Matulino, Cleary has put himself in pole position to also lure the off-contract Dragons enforcer to Wests Tigers next year and reunite the pair who played under him for the Warriors in the 2011 grand final.
Lolohea to follow big Ben?
Talk is heating up that out-of-favour Warriors wing Tui Lolohea could also be headed to Tiger Town. Lolohea is contracted through to the end of next season but reports out of Australia suggest Cleary and the Tigers are keen to arrange a release in the coming weeks. If the Tigers were able to sign the 22-year-old the club could then consider releasing Mitchell Moses to Parramatta and clear more salary cap space.
Woods has good reason
Still on the Tigers, captain Aaron Woods upset plenty of people after he was photographed enjoying a coffee with Canterbury prop David Klemmer last week. It has since been revealed Woods was catching up with his good mate after Klemmer's young son was released from hospital following a week in intensive care. Klemmer's child had a torn lung which became infected but the youngster has since bounced back to be close to full health.
Griffin dismisses rumours
Panthers coach Anthony Griffin has quashed talk Kiwis rookie Te Maire Martin could depart Penrith for - you guessed it - the Wests Tigers. Martin missed last week's defeat to the Eels and was again overlooked for last night's clash with Brisbane due to a neck injury. Griffin denied the pair had fallen out and said Martin would be in line to make a return against the Warriors at Pepper Stadium in Penrith on May 13.
Napa to grit his teeth
Roosters tough nut Dylan Napa is set to line up against the Warriors on Sunday just four days after having three teeth reinserted. The Queensland-born prop had three teeth knocked out in the Roosters' NRL Anzac Day golden point extra time 13-12 win over St George Illawarra. Club staff managed to find them and the 24-year-old had an appointment with the dentist on Wednesday and had the teeth put back in. The no-fuss front rower was so stoic, he didn't even tell his teammates. "He must have worn his mouth guard in the sheds after the game for us not to notice," front-row partner Jared Waerea-Hargreaves said.
Smith cracks half-century
Australian captain Cameron Smith will become only the second player after Darren Lockyer to play 50 tests for Australia in next Friday's Anzac test against the Kiwis. Smith will lead the Kangaroos for the 27th time, joining Clive Churchill as Australia's second-most capped captain. The 33-year-old will play his 34th consecutive test, one short of Churchill's record of 35 (1948-55). Lockyer holds records for most tests for Australia (59) and most tests as skipper (38).