Woods has backing of senior Tigers

Wests Tigers vice-captain Dene Halatau has revealed that the club’s new seven-man leadership group played a major role in the appointment of Aaron Woods as skipper.

Woods was handed the job at Concord last week after Robbie Farah controversially stood himself down from the post last month.

At 24 years of age, NSW Origin prop Woods instantly became the youngest captain in the NRL, but not before his leadership credentials were rubber-stamped by his senior teammates.

“We gave our opinion on how it might look and the coaching staff made their decisions on that as well,” said Halatau, who was named as Woods’ deputy alongside Chris Lawrence.

“Woodsy is there because we trust him to be our leader.”

Halatau, 32, believed the Leichhardt junior’s promotion made the most sense.

“Everyone suggested Woodsy would be the logical choice,” he said.

“He’s a leader at training, he’s a leader amongst the boys, and he’s a leader when he plays footy.

“He’s 24 years old so it could be a long future for him as captain.”

It brings an end to Farah’s six-year reign as the face of the joint venture, having taken over from Todd Payten in 2009.

NSW vice-captain Farah was seemingly headed out of Concord when he was encouraged to find another club in late August, but he dug his heels in, insisting he wanted to see out his contract.

What looked set to be an ugly separation has now seemingly fallen through and a healing process has begun.

“You never like to see a club that you care about, and spent so much time at, have negative press,” Halatau said.

“(But) it’s part and parcel with being in the NRL. You’re going to be scrutinised at times when things are going wrong.

“But everyone has worked hard to get through it and everyone is pretty comfortable that we’ll push on.”

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