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Taylor eyes post-Farah era at Tigers

NZN 1/03/2017 Steve Zemek

Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor has extended the olive branch to Robbie Farah, and now it's time for him to mould the club in his image.

The post-Farah era at the Tigers begins at ANZ Stadium on Friday night - as it happens, against Farah's new team South Sydney.

While the pair's feud continues to bubble along four months after the NSW Origin hooker cleaned out his locker at Concord, the heat is on Taylor to drive the joint venture back to the top eight.

The Tigers haven't played in the finals since 2011, and the feeling is they can no longer lean on their "youngsters" tag and notional potential.

Fullback James Tedesco and halves Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses - who've been entrusted with the club's future - are off contract and will be out to prove they deserve big paydays.

The Tigers looked headed for the top eight in 2016 before losing three of their last four games, including a 52-10 flogging to Canberra in the final round.

"We've had a really strong pre-season. Everything that we've worked on has been a development on everything we've done over the last few years," Taylor said.

"We haven't chucked anything out and started again. We've been developing our style over time now and coming into our third year it means we should be understanding that even better."

Taylor wanted to make it clear he harboured no bad blood with Farah, wishing him well and predicting he'll bloom following his change of scenery.

"I thought he played really strong in the Charity Shield. It looks like a change has been good for Robbie and I'm sure he'll play well. I'm sure he'll have a good season," Taylor said.

Despite playing a club-record 247 games, being a club life member, former skipper and premiership winner, Farah was effectively forced out after he was dumped to reserve grade.

Farah was given a lifeline by Souths and said in February he'd moved on from his feud with Taylor.

Souths coach Michael Maguire said of Farah: "He's been spoken about a lot but he's just fitted in well.

"He's just looking forward to playing ... He wants to let his actions on the field do the talking."

Tigers winger Moses Suli, who was signed to a three-year deal reported to be worth $1.2 million, is expected to make his debut against the Rabbitohs in place of the suspended Tim Simona.

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Rabbitohs were awful at home in 2016, winning three of 12 matches. They also won four of 11 games at ANZ Stadium.

* Last year, the Tigers were ranked 15th in points conceded (25.3 per game), tries conceded (4.4) and linebreaks conceded (5.8).

* Chris Lawrence requires just two tries to equal Benji Marshall's record of 76 tries, the most for Wests Tigers.

Source: Fox Sports Stats

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