Wests Tigers are reportedly in the process of organizing a reunion of the 2005 Grand Final team, as the club has allegedly brought in a new assistant coach and appointed a head coach for their NSW Cup team.
The decision to hire a new assistant and NSW Cup coach follows the departure of former NSW Cup coach Wayne Lambkin from the club in September of this year. Wayne Lambkin, a highly experienced rugby league coach, had been with the Wests Tigers since 2019, initially as the Jersey Flegg coach and later overseeing the reserve-grade side in 2022. His extensive coaching journey began at Westfield Sports High School and included a significant tenure as head coach of the North Sydney Bears NSW Cup team from 2006 to 2015, along with guiding the Manly Sea Eagles to a U20s title in 2017.
In Wayne Lambkin’s place, it is reported that the Wests Tigers have secured the services of Aaron Payne, who will assume the role of head coach for their NSW Cup team, the Western Suburbs Magpies. Additionally, Aaron Payne will work alongside Benji Marshall as an assistant coach at the club, as per News Corp. Aaron Payne, a former Cowboys player with 219 appearances primarily as a hooker from 2002 to 2012, had recently parted ways with his previous coaching position earlier this year.
Previously, Aaron Payne had been at the helm of the Townsville Blackhawks as head coach for five seasons since 2018 until his departure earlier this year. His inclusion in the Tigers’ coaching staff will see him join former 2005 Grand Final teammates Benji Marshall (head coach), Robbie Farah (assistant coach), and Chris Heighington (assistant coach).
Moreover, the coaching staff for the upcoming season will also welcome John Morris, who is set to join from the South Sydney Rabbitohs as an assistant coach.