Api times: Tigers expect to see instant Koroisau impact

As he begins his second coming as Wests Tigers coach, Tim Sheens believes new captain Api Koroisau has the ability to have a transformative effect on the club and become one of their greatest hookers.

Sheens will take charge of his 250th Tigers game on Sunday when the Gold Coast Titans roll into Leichhardt Oval.

After picking up their maiden wooden spoon last year, the Tigers begin the 2023 NRL season with new-found optimism after the recruitment of Koroisau, Isaiah Papali'i, John Bateman and David Klemmer.

Three-time premiership winner Koroisau will captain the club for the first time after joining from Penrith in the off-season.

The Panthers' attack was noticeably clunky in their round-one defeat to Brisbane on Friday, and Sheens is hoping the Fijian hooker can impart his crafty guile on the Tigers.

"It starts at No.9, he handles the ball more than anyone else on the field and he has a huge influence," Sheens said.

"Whether you can adapt to another system depends on the style of play.

"I'm not worried about what's happening at Penrith, I'm worried about how we're going here.

"I didn't think I'd see another hooker as good as Robbie (Farah) here at this club and Benny Elias prior to that at Balmain.

"Api certainly fills that gap for us, he organises from No.9 and that takes the pressure off the No.7 and No.6.

"He's definitely shown that he's going to have an influence on every game."

The Tigers have promised to play expansively but Sheens warned there will be teething issues.

"The players, they've got to learn their idiosyncrasies and that takes time," he said.

"We'll use the ball a bit but no more than any other team, we're encouraging them to move the ball."

The only absences for the Tigers this weekend are Bateman (ankle) and winger Ken Maumalo (knee).

Sheens said he was in no rush to get Bateman on the field after his arrival from the UK last week.

"If there was a grand final next week, he'd play," Sheens said.

"He's not a rookie, he doesn't need to be pushed to risk further injury."