Brisbane have received a boost with representative duo Kurt Capewell (neck) and Payne Haas (shoulder) both getting through Thursday’s captains run unscathed.
They will make their return from brief layoffs in Friday night’s Magic Round headline act with Manly.
Melbourne have been forced to shuffle their backs around following the loss of star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen and centre Reimis Smith to serious injuries while Souths will be without captain Cameron Murray for a month.
The Rabbitohs have been dealt a blow with Murray sidelined with a shoulder problem, meaning Cody Walker will take over as captain and Jai Arrow switching to lock when they face the Warriors on Saturday.
Murray’s hopes of featuring in State of Origin I have taken a significant hit as he will undergo surgery which should mean he only misses three to four weeks. But the 24-year-old will be facing a tight recovery time to be right to feature for NSW in Origin I on June 8.
He had scans and saw a specialist on Tuesday before the Rabbitohs sent him for a “minor procedure”. Murray has been one of Brad Fittler’s most dependable players since making his Origin bow in 2019.
“Keaon Koloamatangi has been a part of our camps and we’ve also got Tariq Sims, Tyson Frizell, Angus Crichton and Liam Martin who have played prior,” Blues coach Brad Fittler said on Wednesday. “It’s such an important position because there’s so much pressure on those people, especially in defence. Over the last sort of four or five years, we’ve always had really good depth.”
The Storm will be without the services of Papenhuyzen for at least a month due to knee and hamstring problems while Smith has been sidelined for 10-12 weeks after he tore a pectoral muscle in Sunday’s big win over St George Illawarra.
Due to injuries to the Storm’s outside backs, the NRL has granted approval for development squad member Marion Seve to be available for selection in the top grade from this weekend’s blockbuster against Penrith.
Seve will suit up at centre for Smith with Nick Meaney assuming the No.1 jersey from Papenhuyzen and Dean Ieremia coming onto the wing.
However, the Storm are considering starting bench utility Tyran Wishart at fullback, sending Meaney back to the wing and Ieremia out of the run-on side.
Penrith welcome back interchange forward Scott Sorensen for Saturday night’s clash with the Storm after he missed the loss to Parramatta due to a virus while coach Ivan Cleary (infected knee) and assistant Cameron Ciraldo (COVID) will also resume their duties.
Cronulla duo Will Kennedy (two matches) and Jesse Ramien (three matches) accepted high tackle bans. Nicho Hynes has been switched to fullback with Braydon Trindall at halfback to fill the Kennedy void while Connor Tracey comes in from the wing to centre for Ramien with Ronaldo Mulitalo back in the starting side after an illness kept him out last weekend.
Warriors captain Tohu Harris will make his long-awaited return from the torn ACL he suffered last season in a timely boost after their dreadful loss to Cronulla on Sunday. Winger Marcelo Montoya is also back in the line-up after serving his four-game ban for using a homophobic slur in a game against North Queensland last month.
Bulldogs: No major changes with Chris Patolo replacing Ava Seumanufagai on the interchange.
1. Matt Dufty 2. Brent Naden 3. Jake Averillo 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Corey Waddell 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Jackson
Interchange: 14. Bailey Biondi-Odo 15. Joe Stimson 16. Max King 17. Chris Patolo 19. Josh Cook 20. Jackson Topine 21. Brandon Wakeham 22. Jayden Okunbor 23. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 24. Paul Alamoti 25. Ava Seumanufagai
Knights: In a welcome boost, Mitch Barnett (suspension) and Adam Clune (knee) will return). Tyson Frizell (illness) and Dane Gagai (cheekbone) are another week away.
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Dominic Young 6. Tex Hoy 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Mitchell Barnett 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Leo Thompson
Interchange: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Pasami Saulo 17. Mathew Croker 18. Simi Sasagi 19. Sauaso Sue 20. Brayden Musgrove 21. Jaron Purcell 22. Krystian Mapapalangi 23. Kobe Rugless 24. Ben Talty
Sea Eagles: Young forward Haumole Olakau’atu is back from an illness while Josh Schuster is on the extended bench due to his calf problem.
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Ben Trbojevic 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Sean Keppie 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Ethan Bullemor 13. Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Andrew Davey 16. Martin Taupau 17. Toafofoa Sipley 18. Kurt De Luis 19. Morgan Harper 20. Kaeo Weekes 21. James Roumanos 22. Josh Schuster 23. Jamie Humphreys 24. Jacob Sykes
Broncos: Kevin Walters has brought Payne Haas and Kurt Capewell back from their shoulder and neck injuries into the starting side.
1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan
Interchange: 14. Cory Paix 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Brenko Lee 19. TC Robati 20. Rhys Kennedy 21. Ezra Mam 22. Jordan Pereira 23. Ryan James 24. Jake Turpin
Warriors: Tohu Harris will make his long-awaited return from the torn ACL he suffered last season in a timely boost for the Warriors after their dreadful loss to Cronulla on Sunday. Winger Marcelo Montoya is also back in the line-up after serving his four-game ban for using a homophobic slur in a game against North Queensland last month.
Euan Aitken, named in the second row, has to pass HIA protocols after leaving the field on Sunday with concussion.
1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Viliami Vailea 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Matt Lodge 11. Euan Aitken 12. Tohu Harris (c) 13. Jazz Tevaga.
Interchange: 14. Aaron Pene 15. Ben Murdoch-Masila 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Jack Murchie 18. Eliesa Katoa 20. Rocco Berry 21. Pride Petterson-Robati 22. Edward Kosi 23. Junior Ratuva 24. Ronald Volkman 25. Freddy Lussick
Rabbitohs: Cameron Murray is out for a few weeks with a shoulder problem so Cody Walker takes over as captain with Jai Arrow switching to lock and Jacob Host back from a shoulder complaint in the second row. Kodi Nikorima will make his club debut via the interchange.
1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Jaxson Paulo 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Jai Arrow
Interchange: 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Davvy Moale 16. Siliva Havili 17. Liam Knight 18. Peter Mamouzelos 19. Isaiah Tass 20. Josh Mansour 21. Shaq Mitchell 22. Dean Hawkins 23. Trent Peoples 24. Josiah Karapani
Titans: Young fullback Jayden Campbell returns from a rib problem, meaning AJ Brimson goes back to the five-eighth role and Will Smith has been omitted. Veteran forward Kevin Proctor has been dropped to the reserves due to a recent string of sub-par performances.
1. Jayden Campbell 2. Phillip Sami 3. Brian Kelly 4. Esan Marsters 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. AJ Brimson 7. Toby Sexton 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Erin Clark 10. Jarrod Wallace 11. Isaac Liu 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Interchange: 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Sam Lisone 16. Herman Ese’ese 17. Sam McIntyre 18. Greg Marzhew 19. Corey Thompson 20. Paul Turner 21. Jaimin Jolliffe 22. Aaron Booth 23. Sosefo Fifita 24. Kevin Proctor
Dragons: Despite the heavy defeat in Melbourne, the team has not been changed.
1. Moses Mbye 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Jack de Belin 11. Jack Bird 12. Josh Mcguire 13. Tariq Sims
Interchange: 14. Jayden Sullivan 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Aaron Woods 17. Tyrell Fuimaono 18. George Burgess 19. Cody Ramsey 20. Jack Gosiewski 21. Tyrell Sloan 22. Josh Kerr 23. Jackson Ford 24. Tautau Moga
Storm: Nick Meaney is a capable replacement for injured star Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback while Marion Seve will suit up at centre for Reimis Smith (pectoral) and Dean Ieremia coming onto the wing where Meaney was. Tyran Wishart may be a late inclusion at fullback with Meaney reverting to the flank and Ieremia back to the bench.
1. Nick Meaney 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King
Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tyran Wishart 16. Trent Loiero 17. Chris Lewis 18. Cooper Johns 19. Jordan Grant 20. Tom Eisenhuth 21. Jayden Nikorima 22. Alec MacDonald 23. Tui Kamikamica 24. William Warbrick
Panthers: Scott Sorensen’s return to the interchange after a one-game absence due to illness forces Matt Eisenhuth out of the game-day 17.
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Interchange: 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Robert Jennings 19. Chris Smith 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Sean O’Sullivan 22. Matt Eisenhuth 23. Soni Luke 24. Charlie Staines
Sharks: Cronulla duo Will Kennedy (two matches) and Jesse Ramien (three matches) accepted high tackle bans. Nicho Hynes has been switched to fullback with Braydon Trindall at halfback to fill the Kennedy void while Connor Tracey comes in from the wing to centre for Ramien with Ronaldo Mulitalo back in the starting side after an illness kept him out last weekend.
1. Nicho Hynes 2. Sione Katoa 3. Connor Tracey 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Braydon Trindall 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aiden Tolman 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane
Interchange: 14. Cameron McInnes 15. Jack Williams 16. Wade Graham 17. Royce Hunt 18. Mawene Hiroti 19. Andrew Fifita 20. Luke Metcalf 21. Lachlan Miller 22. Jayden Berrell 23. Jesse Colquhoun 24. Thomas Hazelton
Raiders: Seb Kris has been called up to centre with Jarrod Croker out three weeks with a shoulder problem with Xavier Savage added to the bench.
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Matt Frawley 7. Brad Schneider 8. Josh Papalii 9. Adam Elliott 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Harawira-Naera
Interchange: 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Xavier Savage 17. Corey Horsburgh 18. Harry Rushton 19. Trey Mooney 20. Sam Williams 21. Peter Hola 22. James Schiller 23. Emre Guler 24. Albert Hopoate
Roosters: Connor Watson makes a timely return at hooker from a throat problem with Sam Verrills going down with a broken collarbone. Siosiua Taukeiaho is back in the run-on side after prop Lindsay Collins was banned for a high shot.
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Connor Watson 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley
Interchange: 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Nat Butcher 17. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 18. Lachlan Lam 19. Naufahu Whyte 20. Ben Marschke 21. Ben Thomas 22. Kevin Naiqama 23. Adam Keighran 24. Tukupa Hau Tapuha
Eels: Why would Brad Arthur change a team that beat the premiers, they remain 1-17 from the two-point win in Penrith last Friday.
1. Clint Gutherson 2. Hayze Perham 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Tom Opacic 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Bryce Cartwright 18. Wiremu Greig 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Mitch Rein 21. Sean Russell 22. Samuel Loizou 23. Elie El Zakhem 24. Brendan Hands
Tigers: Luciano Leilua (leg) is back after a brief stint in the injury ward at second row, sending Alex Seyfarth back to the interchange.
1. Starford To’a 2. Asu Kepaoa 3. Oliver Gildart 4. Luke Garner 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jake Simpkin 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Kelma Tuilagi 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Alex Twal 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Stefano Utoikamanu 18. Jacob Liddle 19. Jock Madden 20. Thomas Mikaele 21. Fa’amanu Brown 22. Junior Pauga 23. Junior Tupou 24. Tuki Simpkins
Cowboys: Todd Payten has kept his winning line-up intact with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to continue his comeback trail off the interchange for the third straight week.
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Reuben Cotter 11. Tom Gilbert 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 15. Heilum Luki 16. Coen Hess 17. Griffin Neame 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Jake Granville 20. Connelly Lemuelu 21. Ben Condon 22. Emry Pere 23. Ben Hampton 24. Brendan Elliot