There’s been plenty of moves this off-season with coaching hires and player transfers all going on and one of the notable transfers it that of David Klemmer, former Australian international and 2017 World Cup winner, linking up with former Hull KR boss, Tim Sheens.
Sheens is heading into his first season with Wests Tigers having coached KR from 2017 through till 2019, during a period where Rovers won at a rate of above 50%.
He heads into a difficult task at Wests though with the side having finished bottom of the table in back to back years and hoping to avoid a third consecutive wooden spoon.
Initially Sheens was only involved at Wests as part of their pathways system where he would spot talent, something he did with Klemmer when he handed him his international debut serving as the Australian head coach, but has assumed the coaching role for 2023 and 2024 before club legend Benji Marshall will take over.
Klemmer has spoken to the Tigers website and is certain he’s made the right move with the 29-year-old set to assume a key role in both of Sheen’s seasons and the first under the so-called ‘Marshall Plan’ having signed a three-year contract following his player swap with former Man of Steel winner, Jackson Hastings.
“Clubs have different cultures and I just wanted to make sure I came down here and brought a good standard to the group,” Klemmer told Ask the Boss, a segment on Wests site.
“It’s been eye-opening seeing how this club operates and the vision Benji [Marshall] and Sheensy [Tim Sheens] have brought to the squad so far, it’s a breath of fresh air for myself.
“I know the Tigers didn’t have a good year last year, Knights didn’t have a good year either. But the way [we] played against the top eight and top four teams last year was really appealing.
“And the way Benji and Sheensy want to play footy, it’s going to suit this team a lot. We’ve just got to make sure we’ve got the calibre on the field and do it for a whole year not just a couple of weeks.
“I see a lot of potential. As soon as I made the decision, I was pretty content with it and pretty happy. I made the right one.”
Klemmer brings international and State of Origin experience, and has also played in a Grand Final so will bring an elite winning mentality to what is a relatively young squad that’s struggled in recent years.
With the addition of the Dolphins to the league as the 17th team, and their struggles to sign the star players they’d been expected to sign, Wests will certainly fancy their chances not to prop up the table again and with these comments from Klemmer they’ll do far more than that.