Tigers backing young gun Galvin to take NRL by storm

Darren Walton |

Tigers coach Benji Marshall has high hopes for tyro Lachlan Galvin.
Tigers coach Benji Marshall has high hopes for tyro Lachlan Galvin.

Insisting he’s no risk, Wests Tigers teammates are tipping Lachlan Galvin to “kill it” when the teenage prodigy makes his much-anticipated NRL debut on Saturday.

Galvin is set to start at five-eighth in the Tigers’ season opener against Canberra in the national capital, partnering new recruit Jayden Sullivan in the halves.

First-season coach Benji Marshall made the bold call in the biggest selection gamble since Marshall also debuted at 18 back in 2003.

That roll of the dice turned out OK, with Marshall leading the joint venture to their one and only premiership two years later.

Little wonder the club’s rep stars are backing Marshall and Galvin to deliver for the Tigers more than two decades on.

“He’s just a natural footballer. He’s a gun,” NSW State of Origin hooker and triple premiership winner Api Koroisau said on Wednesday.

“What’s the old adage? If they’re good enough, they’re old enough.

“All the boys have all the confidence in him and he’s been showing that each and every day.

“He’s got a great running game. He’s quite a tall kid, but moves really well and quite silky.”

Tigers hardman David Klemmer hailed the former Australian schoolboys stand-out as the fittest player in the club after watching Galvin excel during the pre-season.

“He beat everyone by a country mile in in all sorts of runs. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Klemmer said.

“”It’s a credit to him. He could have come in here and dipped his toe in and used the exuse that he’s a young bloke, but he’s come here and taken it head on.

“He’s trying to beat you and he’s a tough kid as well.”

Despite his inexperience and lean frame, neither Klemmor or Blues enforcer Stefano Utoikamanu suspect Galvin will need any bodyguarding from teammates.

“I’m just going to go out there and do my job because I’m comfortable he’s going to go out there and kill it,” Utoikamanu said.

“He’s someone who’s going to work hard for us. He’s young but he’s shown that he’s pretty confident and he’s comfortable telling everyone where to go.”

The Tigers are chomping at the bit after having a first-round bye, while the Raiders are fresh off a thumping win over the Knights in Newcastle.

“We got the two points straight away. It took us nine weeks last year to get two points,” Klemmer said of the Tigers’ season start.

“It’s massive for us. It’s a a good positive feel. Everyone’s excited.”