Tigers rest jersey in Raudonikis tribute

NRL club Wests Tigers will rest the No.7 jumper in honour of rugby league legend Tommy Raudonikis.
NRL club Wests Tigers will rest the No.7 jumper in honour of rugby league legend Tommy Raudonikis.

Wests Tigers will retire the no.7 jersey from all four grades this weekend in a touching tribute to former halfback Tommy Raudonikis.

The larger-than-life ex-Wests and Newtown legend died at the age of 70 on Wednesday, causing an outpouring of grief in the rugby league community.

His beloved Wests will honour him by resting the no.7 jersey, with the halfback of each grade to lead their respective teams out of the tunnel at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

The no.7 jersey will then be placed on the first chair of the team's bench for each grade - women's, SG Ball, NSW Cup and NRL.

A minute's silence will also be held before the Tigers' NRL match against North Queensland.

A dedicated Tommy Raudonikis Memorial Round has also been planed for round nine when Wests Tigers host Gold Coast at Campbelltown Stadium.

Tributes have flown in from former teammates, ex-players and those who admired Raudonikis's worth ethic, toughness and character.

However, Canberra coach and former Australia and NSW halfback Ricky Stuart said on Thursday it's important to remember Raudonikis as an exceptional player too.

"Me and my brother had scrapbooks and on the front of my brother's scrapbook was Arthur Beetson, and on the front of mine was Bob Fulton and Tom Raudonikis," he said.

"I looked up to both people as role models in the way they played.

"As a young boy I studied those types of people and you take traits away from people who you wanted to model your game on.

"I loved his attitude towards winning, I loved his competitiveness.

"I loved that he loved a beer with his mates after a game, and we're hearing a lot about those stories but I don't want it to overshadow what a great player he was either."

Australian Associated Press