May 28, 2024

The Wests Tigers are set to make another adjustment to their backline as they kick off the 2024 season, with reports indicating that Justin Olam will be announced as their latest acquisition through an immediate player swap. The Daily Telegraph reveals that Olam, long linked to the Tigers, will be part of their lineup in 2024, while Shawn Blore, who is believed to have already committed to the Storm for 2025 and beyond, will make the move to Melbourne a year earlier than planned.

This move involves Olam being released three years early from his current contract, also helping the Storm address their consistently stretched salary cap. Despite being dropped from the Storm’s best 17 by coach Craig Bellamy in the latter part of the 2023 season, Olam had been connected to other potential exits from the Storm, including rumored interest from clubs in the English Super League. However, the 30-year-old center expressed his firm intention to remain in the NRL.

Benji Marshall set to land Justin Olam for Wests Tigers in recruitment coup  | — Australia's leading news site

Known for his damaging plays as one of the NRL’s top centers, the Papua New Guinean international Olam will now contribute to the Tigers’ rebuilding efforts at Concord. Under the leadership of Benji Marshall, who is taking bold steps to revitalize the team, the Tigers will feature an entirely new halves combination in 2024, with additional depth expected in 2025 when Jarome Luai joins.

On the other side of the swap, Blore, a highly regarded young player in the game, has faced injury challenges in recent seasons but has demonstrated his talent in 33 NRL games, with 15 of those during the 2023 season. Melbourne, recognizing the need to revamp their forward pack after struggling against top teams in 2023, reportedly plans to shift Trent Loiero to the middle to accommodate Blore’s move to the edge. The confirmation of this player swap is expected in the coming days, according to the report.

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