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Tiger Tamou eager to re-unite with Laurie before 2021 kick-off

But the Panthers and Tigers have been in regular dialogue and are committed to getting the best outcome for both clubs.

“Daine is more than ready, he showed last year he was ready when he debuted,” Tamou told the Herald. “I hate bringing up last year because I’m, a Tiger now, but Daine used to throw himself into everything and was such a competitor.

Daine Laurie is keen to quit Penrith and link with the Wests Tigers early.

Daine Laurie is keen to quit Penrith and link with the Wests Tigers early.Credit:Getty Images

“If he was in the second team, their game day was always going up against the first team and getting them ready to play. He stood out because he wanted to compete, and that’s something we want here – players to compete on every play and to make your own luck. He’s always competing and deceptively fast and strong.”

Adam Doueihi was tried as fullback last year but has made the move to No. 6, while Laurie’s arrival would also give coach Michael Maguire the chance to utilise Moses Mbye as a utility.

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The Tigers’ captaincy is yet to be announced, but Tamou, last year’s Penrith skipper, has plenty of support internally to take over from Mbye – and the prop spoke about the joy he gets from leading his teammates into battle. His speech after the Panthers’ grand final loss has not been forgotten by key figures at the joint venture.

“Coming into a new side is always hard and you have to earn their trust first,” Tamou said. “I’ve told ‘Madge’ [Maguire] there are some good leaders here, I’ll go with the flow and see where he goes with it.

“I’d be more than happy to do it. Being a leader has made me accountable for my own game – it’s something I enjoy and it’s a challenge I enjoy.

“It’s one of those things where you fall in love with the team, you fall in love with the boys, you want to take the first hit-up for the team, and you want to lead them.

“Once upon a time I was a player who only concentrated on how I played. Now I want the team to do well and win, and I don’t care if I’m on the field or off it. That’s just maturity.”

While Tamou rated Joe Ofahengaue as a standout in the gym, he found it impossible to not single out praise for fellow front-rower Zane Musgrove.

“He’s a big man and he loves the physicality,” Tamou said. “He loves the game and the boys, he wants to do his part for the team, and that rubs off on the team.”

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees hitting coach Rachel Balkovec, who is is town working with the Sydney Blue Sox, visited Tigers training where she was keen to meet Maguire after learning about his tough no-nonsense approach to coaching.

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