Luai battle no added motivation for Tigers gun Galvin

George Clarke |

Young gun Lachlan Galvin will return from suspension for Wests Tigers against the Panthers.
Young gun Lachlan Galvin will return from suspension for Wests Tigers against the Panthers.

John Bateman insists prodigious Wests Tigers five-eighth Lachlan Galvin won’t be looking to make a statement as he comes face to face with future teammate Jarome Luai. 

Galvin has been the feelgood story to the Tigers 2-3 start under Benji Marshall and returns to face the Panthers in Bathurst on Saturday after missing the last two weeks with a hip-drop tackle suspension.

The flyweight 18-year-old has spearheaded the club to wins over Cronulla and Parramatta but faces his biggest challenge against a Penrith side stinging from defeat prior to their bye week.

Luai, rated as one of the game’s best five-eighths, will join Bateman and Galvin at the Tigers next year.

Jarome Luai
Jarome Luai will come up against his future teammates at Wests Tigers. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

Whether his arrival leads to Galvin dropping down the pecking order or parterning him in the halves remains to be seen. 

But Bateman was doubtful whether the match-up would give Galvin any added motivation as the Tigers seek to avoid falling to a third-straight loss. 

“I don’t think he’s one of those people (who wants to prove a point), he’ll just go out and do what he does,” Bateman said. 

“Jarome is a Penrith player until the end of the year, I’d rather not talk about him and look at what we can do.

“It’s good to have Lachie back out there, the last two weeks have probably done him good to have a freshen up because he’s still young.

“He’s a pretty quiet, humble bloke but when he gets his hands on the ball he does his thing.”

Bateman, Samuela Fainu (both concussion), Galvin (suspension) and Brent Naden return to first-grade action in welcome boosts for Marshall. 

Prop David Klemmer said Galvin’s presence had been a “breath of fresh air” and believed the youngster woouldn’t fear testing himself against the defending champions. 

“Throwing him back in there… he just backs himself,” Klemmer said. 

“It doesn’t really faze him if he makes an error; he’s straight onto the next job and he brings great energy to the group.”

Playing a Penrith side who have enjoyed a week off after defeat to Manly would be way down most teams’ list of preferred opponents.

But Bateman disagreed. 

“They’re a team you want to play, you want to see where you’re at,” he said. 

“We’re a totally different team to what we have been. 

“Last week hurt us a lot, that’s not what we stand for and we are looking forward to that this week.”