Easts coach Craig Ingebrigtsen says the permanent acquisition of Joel Romelo is a major plus for the Tigers as they prepare for another tilt at the Intrust Super Cup.
The livewire halfback/hooker will concentrate solely on his playing commitments with the Tigers in 2015 after turning out for Easts as a Melbourne Storm contracted player last season.
Ingebrigtsen has been impressed with the leadership displayed by the former Bulldogs and Storm utility throughout the pre-season.
The Tigers coach is beginning to mould a strong squad with classy New South Wales Cup representative Jake Foster and former Newcastle Knight Brenton Horwood among their key gains.
There will be plenty of competition on for places in the Tigers’ top grade line-up, particularly on the wing and in the front-row following Jarrod McInally’s move to the Canterbury Bulldogs and skipper Steven Thorpe’s switch to the UK.
Gains: Jake Foster (Canberra Raiders), Brenton Horwood (Newcastle Knights), Joel Romelo (Melbourne Storm), Brentt Warr (Mackay Cutters), Francis Tualau (Melbourne Storm).
Losses: Steven Thorpe (Sheffield Eagles), Liufau Hala (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Geoff Holcombe (Darwin), Jarrod McInally (Canterbury Bulldogs), Jai Ballinger (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Luke Lavelle (Gold Coast).
Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen
Home Ground: Langlands Park
2014 Finish: Runners up – (Grand Final: Northern Pride 36 def Easts Tigers 4)
Regular season: Third – 16 wins, 1 Draw, 7 Losses.
Tweed Heads Seagulls
Central Queensland Capras
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Souths Logan Magpies
Wynnum Manly Seagulls