Farah, Naiqama set to face Panthers

Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah is expected to play his first game for the NRL club in five weeks after being rested in last Friday night’s loss to Manly.

Winger Kevin Naiqama is also set to be named on Tuesday despite suffering a dislocated finger against the Sea Eagles.

But it’s the inclusion of Farah that will be a huge boost for the side ahead of Sunday afternoon’s clash against the Panthers at Leichhardt Oval.

Having busted his shoulder playing for NSW in the State of Origin series-opener in Sydney, Farah got a painkilling injection for game two last week in Melbourne before sitting out the Sea Eagles clash.

“From what I’ve heard, yeah he’ll be back,” centre Tim Simona said on Monday.

“Having him and (Aaron Woods) back will definitely be a huge confidence boost.

“In saying that, (Manaia Cherrington) and (Dene Halatau) at hooker taking over Robbie did a great job.

“But it’ll definitely be a massive inclusion for Robbie coming back.”

It will be Farah’s first game in Tigers colours since round 10, when they went down in Newcastle.

Since then, the Tigers have managed just one win in four games and are now in a share of last place.

Naiqama, meanwhile, dislocated his finger after diving to score a remarkable try against the Sea Eagles.

“I’ll wear a splint with it. Nothing’s too serious. It should be sweet this weekend,” he said.

“It’s a bit sore. It’s swollen up heaps after the game. Obviously I’ll be playing with a bit of pain, but it comes with the game.”

The Tigers will be out to improve on their recent record at Leichhardt Oval, where they have lost five of their past six games.

They are winless in two matches at the suburban ground this year.

“Over the years we’ve been pretty good there. Hopefully we can continue to perform there,” winger Pat Richards said.

“It’s disappointing we’ve lost a couple of close ones this season, which goes to show how tight a competition this is.

“We’re looking forward to getting in front of our fans and hopefully put a good performance in.”

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