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Pre-season Challenge Round 1 Team Lists: Paps, Xerri, RTS back, brawling Broncos in, Dragons shake up side with Lomax shift

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13th February, 2024

Pat Carrigan and Adam Reynolds have been named to start for the Broncos while Ryan Papenhuyzen will make his return from injury in the number 1 jumper for the Melbourne Storm to start the 2024 Preseason Challenge.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Bronson Xerri and Chanel Harris-Tavita will also make rugby league returns and while Des Hasler, Shane Flanagan and Benji Marshall haved named their first teams at their new clubs.

Paps will be part of an otherwise youthful Storm outfit to take on the Bulldogs at Belmore, with only a handful of regular starters set for a run.

Sua Faaologo, who announced himself in last year’s trials and was expected to challenge Papenhuyzen and Nick Meaney for backline spots, will sit out the first week.

Cameron Ciraldo has named several big names in his Doggies side, with Matt Burton and Reed Mahoney featuring, as well as Bronson Xerri, who returns to the NRL after a four-year drug ban.

It will be the first time Xerri, 23, has taken the field since 2019 after the speedy centre was sidelined from the game on a four-year doping ban for taking banned substances.

In what might be a sign of the coach’s thinking, Drew Hutchison gets first crack at the 7 jumper ahead of Toby Sexton, who will wear the 14. Another new arrival, Blake Taaffe, starts in the 1 with Stephen Crichton not named.


The Roosters are set to unleash their new backline in the first week of trials with an almost full strength squad named – with one key exception.

With all the preseason chatter over the five-into-four conundrum in the outside backs, Joey Manu is the man to miss out with Daniel Tupou and new man Dom Young named on the wings and Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii and Billy Smith as the centre. Manu will wear the 18 jumper and only feature from the extended bench.

They will face a Manly side with Ben Trbojevic in the backrow and Josh Schuster on the bench, a move predicted by many given the Samoa international’s injury issues and Burbo’s impressive form in last week’s win over Souths.

They will be among the few big names who do play, with Anthony Seibold opting to sit most of his stars ahead of the Vegas season opener.

Souths will be without Latrell Mitchell (All Stars) and Cody Walker (injured) but have otherwise named a strong side for the Charity Shield, featuring an almost full strength pack that includes Cameron Murray, Tevita Tatola and new arrival Sean Keppie.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 03: Zac Lomax of the Dragons and his team look dejected after a try during the round four NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the St George Illawarra Dragons at CommBank Stadium, on April 03, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Dragons will go in all guns blazing a full side selected, at least to start, including new look halves pairing Ben Hunt and Kyle Flanagan, Tyrell Sloan at fullback and Zac Lomax on the wing.


Newcastle will look to keep their halves from 2023 stable despite new arrivals, with Tyson Gamble preferred over Jack Cogger to partner Jackson Hastings.

Kalyn Ponga sits out, but new import Will Pryce is in the extended squad and may feature at fullback and Tom Jenkins gets first dig at the wing spot vacated by Dom Young.

They will face a Cronulla side with plenty of talent, including the return of Kade Dykes from an ACL injury at fullback, though Nicho Hynes is away on All Stars duty.

Parramatta will give first appearances to ex-Manly duo Kelma Tuilagi and Morgan Harper against Canberra, while young gun Ethan Sanders starts at halfback with Mitch Moses and Dylan Brown held back.

He will face his NSW u-19s teammate Ethan Strange, who starts for the Raiders in the 7 jumper alongside another former Sea Eagle, Kaeo Weekes, at 6. Chevy Stewart is the 1 and Xavier Savage gets a wing jumper alongside Nick Cotric.

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 29: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of New Zealand is tackled by Ryohei Yamanaka of Japan during the international test match between Japan and New Zealand All Blacks at National Stadium on October 29, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is tackled by Japan’s defence while representing the All Blacks. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

The Warriors will welcome back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to rugby league and Chanel Harris-Tavita to the NRL after a year’s sabbatical. RTS is named in the centres and CHT starts at five eighth alongside Luke Metcalf.


The face a Wests Tigers side with a new-look halves pairing that has Jayden Sullivan at 6 and Aidan Sezer at 7, behind an almost full-strength pack including captain Api Koroisau, NSW rep Stefano Utoikamanu, Isaiah Papali’i and David Klemmer.

The Broncos will move on from their week of strife immediately with Carrigan and Reynolds named alongside Reece Walsh, Payne Haas and, in the centres, Selwyn Cobbo.

They face a Cowboys team who are a little more light, with the likes of Jason Taumalolo, Chad Townsend and Scott Drinkwater all sat down for another week.

Tom Chester, off the back of an ACL, gets a crack at fullback and Jake Clifford returns to the club in the five eighth role.

In the final game, a strong Dolphins side will take on the Titans with Herbie Farnworth and Tom Flegler in line for club debuts and Isaiya Katoa and Sean O’Sullivan selected in the halves. Valynce Te Whare, after his off-season fitness issues, is named on the bench.

Des Hasler’s first Gold Coast lineup is more youth-oriented, with only Aaron Schoupp and Ken Maumolo among the more senior names in the run-on. New arrival Harley Smith-Shields is in the extended bench and Tom Weaver, who many expect to have a crack at the halfback role, wears the 14.

NRL Pre-Season fixtures 


All times in AEDT.

Thursday, February 15 – 7pm: Bulldogs v Storm at Belmore Sports Ground

Bulldogs: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Blake Wilson 3. Eli Clark 4. Bronson Xerri 5. Jeral Skelton 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Samuel Hughes 11. Kitione Kautoga 12. Jacob Preston 13. Jaeman Salmon 14. Toby Sexton 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Liam Knight 17. Jordan Samrani 19. Harry Hayes 20. Bailey Hayward 21. Joash Papali’i 22. Reece Hoffman 23. Jack Todd 24. Joseph O’Neill 25. Luke Smith 26. Lipoi Hopoi 27. Kurtis Morrin 28. William Afualo 29. Khaled Rajab

Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Reimis Smith 4. Marion Seve 5. Tuipulotu Katoa 6. Keagan Russell-Smith 7. Jonah Pezet 8. Tristan Powell 9. Bronson Garlick 10. Aaron Pene 11. Kane Bradley 12. Chris Lewis 13. Trent Loiero 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Caius Faatili 16. Lazarus Vaalepu 17. Coby Williamson 18. Treigh Stewart 19. Cole Geyer 20. Sheldon Diaz 21. Thomas Rafter 22. Karauria Stokes-Mahara 23. Stanley Huen 24. Mitchell Jennings 25. Angus Hinchey 26. Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa 27. Regan Hughes 28. Jake Toby

Friday, February 16 – 5:50pm:  Indigenous All Stars women v Māori All Stars women at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Indigenous All Stars: 1. Tamika Upton, 2. Monique Donovan, 3. Jaime Chapman, 4. Bobbi Law, 5. Kimberley Hunt, 6. Taliah Fuimaono, 7. Kirra Dibb, 8. Tommaya Kelly-Sines, 9. Quincy Dodd, 10. Tallisha Hardern, 11. Olivia Kernick, 12. Shaylee Bent, 13. Keilee Joseph, 14. Taneka Todhunter, 15. Grace Kemp, 16, Janelle Williams, 17. Mahalia Murphy, 18. Jasmine Peters


Maori All Stars: 1. Corban Baxter, 2. Zali Fay, 3. Shanie Parker, 4. Botille Vette-Welsh, 5. Jasmine Strange, 6. Raecene McGregor, 7. Zahara Temara, 8. Shannon Mato, 9. Destiny Brill, 10. Mya Hill-Moana, 11. Annessa Biddle, 12. Kennedy Cherrington, 13. Brooke Anderson, 14. Ashleigh Quinlan, 15. Kerehitina Matua, 16. Rima Butler, 17. Chante Temara, 18. Tiana Raftstrand-Smith

Friday, February 16 – 8:10pm:  Indigenous All Stars men v Māori All Stars men at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Indigenous All Stars: 1. Latrell Mitchell, 2. Josh Addo-Carr, 3. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 4. Kotoni Staggs, 5. Alofiana Khan-Pereira, 6. Braydon Trindall, 7. Nicho Hynes, 8. Shaquai Mitchell, 9. Kierran Moseley, 10. Josh Kerr, 11. Adam Elliott, 12. Josh Curran, 13. J’maine Hopgood, 14. Bailey Butler, 15. Brian Kelly, 16. Hohepa Puru, 17. Bailey Biondi-Odo, 18. Zac Fulton, 19. Jordan Grant, 20. Kyle Laybutt

Maori All Stars: 1. Jesse Arthars, 2. Jojo Fifita, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Matt Timoko, 5. Adam Pompey, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Royce Hunt, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Leo Thompson, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Kenny Bromwich, 13. Joseph Tapine, 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Trey Mooney, 16. Xavier Willison, 17. Dylan Walker, 18. Te Maire Martin, 19. Jack Howarth, 20. Keenan Palasia

Saturday, February 17 – 1:45pm: Knights v Sharks at Industree Group Stadium


Knights: 1. Fletcher Sharpe 2. Thomas Jenkins 3. Enari Tuala 4. Krystian Mapapalangi 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Jed Cartwright 12. Dylan Lucas 13. Mathew Croker 14. Jack Cogger 15. Jack Hetherington 16. Brodie Jones 17. Thomas Cant 18. David Armstrong 19. Fletcher Myers 20. Kyle McCarthy 21. Will Pryce 22. Laitia Moceidreke 23. Riley Jones 24. Paul Bryan 25. Zach Herring 26. Clay Webb 27. Ryan Rivett 28. Sebastian Su’a

Sharks: 1. Kade Dykes 2. Sione Katoa 3. Kayal Iro 4. Mawene Hiroti 5. Samuel Stonestreet 6. Daniel Atkinson 7. Niwhai Puru 8. Thomas Hazelton 9. Jayden Berrell 10. Oregon Kaufusi 11. Jesse Colquhoun 12. Teig Wilton 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Billy Burns 15. Jack Williams 16. Tuku Hau Tapuha 17. Lachlan Jake Crouch 18. Christopher Veaila 19. Samuel Healey 20 Salesi Ataata 21. Blake Hosking 22. Siosifa Talakai 23. Liam Ison 24. Max Bradbury 25. Tom Rodwell

Saturday, February 17 – 3:45pm:  Roosters v Sea Eagles at Industree Group Stadium

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 5. Dominic Young 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Naufahu Whyte 9. Zach Dockar-Clay 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Sitili Tupouniua 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Sandon Smith 15. Terrell May 16. Egan Butcher 17. Angus Crichton 18. Joseph Manu 19. Siua Wong 20. Fetalaiga Pauga 21. Connor Watson

Sea Eagles: 1. Bailey Hodgson 2. Jaxson Paulo 3. Tommy Talau 4. Clayton Faulalo 5. Raymond Tuiamalo Vaega 6. Jakob Arthur 7. Brandon Wakeham 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Karl Lawton 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Ben Trbojevic 12. Ben Condon 13. Nathan Brown 14. Jamie Humphreys 15. Joshua Schuster 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Aaron Woods 18. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 19. Brad Parker 20. Aitasi James 21. Dean Matterson 22. Max Lehmann 23. Lehi Hopoate 24. Cameron Brown 25. Jacob Sykes 26. Austin Dias

Saturday, February 17 – 5:55pm:  Eels v Raiders at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium


Eels: 1. Blaize Talagi 2. Haze Dunster 3. Morgan Harper 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Ethan Sanders 8. Ky Rodwell 9. Brendan Hands 10. Ofahiki Ogden 11. Shaun Lane 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Ryan Matterson 14. Luca Moretti 15. Wiremu Greig 16. Matt Doorey 17. Makahesi Makatoa 18. Matthew Arthur 19. Toni Mataele 20. Joshua Lynn 21. Charlie Guymer 22. Dan Keir 23. Saxon Pryke 24. Zac Cini 25. Isaac Lumelume 26. Ethyn Martin

Raiders: 1. Chevy Stewart 2. Nick Cotric 3. James Schiller 4. Albert Hopoate 5. Xavier Savage 6. Kaeo Weekes 7. Ethan Strange 8. Emre Guler 9. Zac Woolford 10. Pasami Saulo 11. Mitchell Spencer 12. Simi Sasagi 13. Ata Mariota 14. Tom Starling 15. Prinston Esera 16. Utuloa Asouma 17. Jed Stuart 18. Danny Levi 19. Adam Cook 20. Peter Hola 21. Mitch Henderson 22. Peter Taateo 23. Noah Martin 24. Loghan Lewis

Saturday, February 17 – 8:05pm:  Rabbitohs v Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Rabbitohs: 1. Jacob Gagai 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Richard Kennar 5. Taane Milne 6. Dean Hawkins 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Peter Mamouzelos 10. Sean Keppie 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Jye Gray 15. Jacob Host 16. Davvy Moale 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Tallis Duncan 19. Michael Chee Kam 20. Thomas Fletcher 21. Leon Te Hau 22. Braidon Burns 23. Dion Teaupa

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Zac Lomax 3. Moses Suli 4. Jack Bird 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Kyle Flanagan 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Tom Eisenhuth 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack de Belin 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Viliami Fifita 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Dylan Egan 18. Michael Molo 19. Jesse Marschke 20. Christian Tuipulotu 21. Savelio Tamale 22. Mathew Feagai 23. Max Feagai 24. Sione Finau 25. Dan Russell 26. Ryan Couchman 27. Toby Couchman 28. Alec Tuitavake

Sunday, February 18 – 2pm:  Warriors v Wests Tigers at Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch


Warriors: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Setu Tu 3. Ali Leiataua 4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Luke Metcalf 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Tom Ale 11. Jackson Ford 12. Jacob Laban 13. Kalani Going 14. Eddie Ieremia 15. Zyon Maiu’u 16. Tanner Stowers-Smith 17. Leka Halasima 18. Patrick Moimoi 20. Etuate Fukofuka 21. Toni Tupouniua 22. Ben Farr 23. Luke Hanson 24. Moala Graham-Taufa 25. Geronimo Doyle 26. Quinnlan Tupou 27. Paul Roache

Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. Charlie Staines 3. Solomona Faataape 4. Declan Casey 5. Junior Tupou 6. Jayden Sullivan 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Asu Kepaoa 13. Alex Seyfarth 14. Lachlan Galvin 15. Josh Feledy 16. Fonua Pole 17. Samuela Fainu 18. Kit Laulilii 19. Sione Fainu 20. Jake Simpkin 21. Tallyn Da Silva 22. Heath Mason 23. Alexander Lobb 24. Tony Sukkar 25. Navren Willett 26. Nick Lui Toso 27. Reuben Porter 28. Sione Latoa-Vaihu

Sunday, February 18 – 4pm:  Cowboys v Broncos at BB Print Stadium, Mackay

Cowboys: 1. Tomas Chester 2. Semi Valemei 3. Jodeci Tiraha 4. Viliami Vailea 5. Robert Derby 6. Jake Clifford 7. Thomas Duffy 8. Thomas Mikaele 9. Sean Mullany 10. Marly Bitungane 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 13. Sam McIntyre 14. Kyle Schneider 15. Wil Sullivan 16. John Radel 17. Jamal Shibasaki 18. D’Jazirhae Pua’avase 19. Jaxon Purdue 20. Ewan Moore 21. Jenson Taumoepeau 22. Henry Teutau

Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Corey Oates 3. Delouise Hoeter 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Deine Mariner 6. Jock Madden 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Jaiyden Hunt 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Martin Taupau 16. Fletcher Baker 17. Kobe Hetherington 18. Jordan Pereira 19. Benjamin Te Kura 20. Joshua Patston 21. Tristan Sailor 22. Cory Paix 23. Blake Mozer

Sunday, February 18 – 6:15pm:  Dolphins v Titans at Sunshine Coast Stadium


Dolphins: 1. Trai Fuller 2. Jack Bostock 3. Tesi Niu 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Euan Aitken 12. Felise Kaufusi 13. Tom Gilbert 14. Max Plath 15. Valynce Te Whare 16. Jake Averillo 17. Kurt Donoghoe 18. Gerome Burns 19. Ray Stone 20. Jeremiah Simbiken 21. Connelly Lemuelu 22. Lachlan Hubner 23. Harrison Graham 24. Jarrod Wallace 25. Mason Teague 26. Brenton Baira

Titans: 1. Jaylan De Groot 2. Tony Francis 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Jack Garrod 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Tom Steadman 7. Kyle Foxwell 8. Luke Burton 9. Vaka Sikahele 10. Jordan Penquitt 11. Ryan Foran 12. Seth Nikotemo 13. Arama Hau 14. Thomas Weaver 15. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 16. Joe Stimson 17. Klese Haas 18. Harley Smith-Shields 19. Kaleb Ngamanu 20. Josiah Pahulu 21. Oskar Bryant 22. Caelys-Paul Putoko