Wests Tigers face more injury woes - The Sydney Morning Herald - 16th June 2008
He weighs in at 130kg and stands 198cm tall, but unfortunately for Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens, Batista won't provide any relief to the NRL club's front row crisis.
The three time WWE world heavyweight champion cut an imposing figure as he joined fellow pro wrestler MVP at Tigers training on Monday, the duo in town for the recently completed `Smackdown Tour'.
With the Tigers down to bare bones in the engine room, Batista would be a welcome addition up front, particularly if he was able to unleash a couple of his trademark `Batista Bombs' on a few unsuspecting Brisbane forwards on Friday night.
"I don't think they'd last too long on a footy field (given) the size of them," Tigers hooker Robbie Farah said.
"We wouldn't mind some big guys at the moment obviously we're a bit down on troops ... with the guys we've got out at the moment we're really struggling."
Makeshift prop Danny Galea joined the injured brigade when he ruptured his Achilles tendon in Sunday's 44-6 loss to Parramatta.
Ryan O'Hara, who hasn't played since the trials due to a broken jaw, is still another couple of weeks away, as is Keith Galloway (foot).
Todd Payten (hamstring) is rated some chance of making the trip north to take on the Broncos, while Bryce Gibbs (knee) is touch and go.
Gibbs has been sidelined since suffering a deep laceration to his right knee which became infected following the round 12 loss to the Sydney Roosters.
"The doc said no, don't play (against Brisbane) but I said I wanted to play anyway," Gibbs said.
"I'm not allowed to run until Thursday. It'd be great to be playing, we haven't got many players left, especially up front.
"If I can run, I can play. All that can happen is that it (the wound) can open back up again.
"We'll have Hodgo (lightweight fullback Brett Hodgson) playing in the front row if I don't come back soon."
Batista and MVP showed off a few of their favourite moves at training on Monday, though not many are likely to see their way onto a football field given the NRL judiciary's crackdown on wrestling manoeuvres.
"He'd get a few weeks for that one," O'Hara said shortly after being swung to the ground in what could only be described as a chicken wing tackle gone mad.
Despite the fact he dwarfed Tigers big men O'Hara and Gibbs, Batista said he had great admiration for NRL players - going as far as to call American football "sissyish" by comparison.
"I think it's insane," Batista said.
"It impresses the hell out of me to seeing big guys run up and down the field all day long for hours.
"It's hard to run around and carry all that weight and all that muscle; that these guys have that agility and endurance is amazing."
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