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NRL Round 6 Team Lists: Cleary suffers setback, Walsh return confirmed but Riki under cloud, Big Phin out

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11th April, 2024
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The Panthers might have the bye this weekend, but that has not stopped them from suffering injury issues, with reports in the Sydney Morning Herald suggesting star playmaker Nathan Cleary is still struggling with a hamstring injury.

The halfback had been slated to return for next week’s clash with the Tigers in Bathurst, but may yet still be a few weeks off proving his fitness.

With the club facing a tough trip to Townsville to face the Cowboys a week later, the Panthers hierachy might err on the side of caution and sit Cleary for another week as a precaution.

Reece Walsh is all set for a return to play a week ahead of schedule after making it through Brisbane captain’s run without issue – but the club are now sweating on the fitness of Jordan Riki.

According to Courier-Mail journalist Peter Badel, who was at Broncos training, the backrower made it to the end of the session but was limping.

Coach Kevin Walters had previously declared it ‘unlikely’ that Riki would feature, but the club are giving him every chance to suit up against the Dolphins.

Brisbane lose captain Adam Reynolds (hamstring) but will gain Reece Walsh, who is back a week early following his facial fracture. Jock Madden deputises in the seven jersey and Tristan Sailor is on the bench, with Corey Oates starting on the wing in place of the injured Deine Mariner (back fracture).

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Walters said on Thursday after confirming Walsh would play that “he has been cleared by all of our medical staff to take the field”.

“The headgear is just precautionary … it’s what he has to wear to play. It’s hard for any player to sit out and watch, particularly someone like Reece who lives and breathes rugby league.”

One man who will not play that game, however, is Tom Flegler. The prop, who swapped Red Hill for Redcliffe in the off-season, has failed to overcome a shoulder problem and will miss out. Lachlan Hubner makes an NRL debut in his stead.

Herbie Farnworth (AC joint) and second-rower Felise Kaufusi (hamstring) are also out for the depleted Dolphins. 

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Dolphins recalled Anthony Milford for his first game of the year as a bench utility.

Canterbury supremo Phil Gould has confirmed that prop Max King will not play against Melbourne on Friday, having not travelled south due to injury.

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Connor Tracey (calf) and Viliame Kikau (leg), however, did make the trip and will be given every chance.

Canterbury, meanwhile, have named Stephen Crichton at fullback in a reshuffled side that has lost Blake Taaffe (concussion) and Kurt Mann (hand) to injury as they head to face Melbourne on Friday.

Josh Addo-Carr is a huge in for the Dogs, who give a first grade debut to Bailey Hayward, a half option who will wear the 14.

Melbourne are as expected with only one change, Jack Howarth out for Tepai Moeroa, but could bring Nelson Asofa-Solomona in at late notice.

South Sydney and Parramatta have made major lineup alterations as coaches Jason Demetriou and Brad Arthur look to kick their respective seasons into gear following sluggish starts.

Demetriou was already without Latrell Mitchell who was suspended three games on the back of their heavy loss to the Warriors – debutant Jye Gray takes his place – but has also ditched Damien Cook, relegating his long-term hooker to the reserves with Peter Mamouzelos named in the No.9 jersey.

Tyrone Munro also comes onto the wing as Souths look to add pace to their side.

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 06: Latrell Mitchell of the Rabbitohs is tackled during the round five NRL match between South Sydney Rabbitohs and New Zealand Warriors at Accor Stadium, on April 06, 2024, in Sydney, Australia.

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Sharks are refreshed after the bye in Round 5 and are boosted by the return of suspended second-rower Briton Nikora while prop Braden Hamlin-Uele (knee) and Toby Rudolf (ankle) are listed in the reserves.

Eels coach Brad Arthur has lost patience with Maika Sivo despite two tries on the weekend, as well as switching up his halves with halfback Dylan Brown joined by Daejarn Asi at five-eighth, Morgan Harper is back in the centres, Bailey Simonsson to the wing and Blaize Talagi to the reserves along with Sivo.

Bryce Cartwright, however, is back on deck in the second row.

Canberra are blooding Chevy Stewart for their clash with the Titans in place of injured fullback Jordan Rapana (knee). After featuring in the last two games, Corey Horsburgh is again out of the side for at least a month with a groin injury.

The Titans have named Kieran Foran despite an injury cloud due to his ankle and welcome back Isaac Liu.

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Roosters winger Dom Young copped a fortnight out rather than risking a three-match suspension after being charged for the high tackle which led to his send-off on Friday night against the Bulldogs, and is joined on the sidelines by head knock duo James Tedesco and Sam Walker.

The Roosters, who face Newcastle on Thursday, have named Joey Manu at fullback for Tedesco and brought in Connor Watson as five-eighth. Controversial veteran Michael Jennings, who will bring up his 300th NRL game, is named at centre. 

Dragons winger Zac Lomax has been named on the wing for Sunday’s game against the Tigers after Tyrell Sloan maintained his place at fullback. Jack Bird makes the cut despite a knee injury last week.

St George Illawarra face the Tigers, who are without John Bateman and Samuela Fainu due to concussion protocols. They move Fonua Pole to start and Justin Matamua to the bench.

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Scans have shown Cowboys centre Zac Laybutt suffered an ACL tear in his team’s win over the Titans on Sunday while bench forward Sam McIntyre (concussion) is also out.

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Round 6 Teams

Newcastle vs Sydney at McDonald Jones Stadium: 7.50pm, Thursday April 11

Odds: Knights $1.65 Roosters $2.20 – odds via PlayUp

Knights:  1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Thomas Jenkins 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Jack Cogger 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Leo Thompson 11. Dylan Lucas 12. Kai Pearce-Paul 13. Adam Elliott 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker 18. Jed Cartwright 19. Brodie Jones 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Will Pryce 22. Greg Marzhew

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Greg Marzhew is in the reserves and is an outside chance of coming into the squad come gameday from his wrist injury.

Roosters: 1. Joseph Manu 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 5. Fetalaiga Pauga 6. Connor Watson 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Nat Butcher 12. Angus Crichton 13. Victor Radley 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Sitili Tupouniua 17. Terrell May 18. Egan Butcher 19. Lewis Murphy 20. Benaiah Ioelu 21. Hugo Savala 22. Siua Wong

Zach Dockar-Clay is the bench utility with Watson moved to 6. Junior Pauga replaces Dom Young on the wing. Controversial centre Michael Jennings will play his 300th NRL game.

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Melbourne vs Canterbury at AAMI Park: 6pm, Friday April 12

Odds: Storm $1.12 Bulldogs $6 – odds via PlayUp

Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Nick Meaney 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Shawn Blore 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Trent Loiero 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Christian Welch 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Alec MacDonald 18. Joe Chan 19. Jack Howarth 20. Marion Seve 21. Jonah Pezet 22. Nelson Asofa-Solomona

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Nelson Asofa-Solomona escaped suspension in the NSW Cup and may yet get a late call into the gameday squad.

Bulldogs: 1. Stephen Crichton 2. Connor Tracey 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Bronson Xerri 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Chris Patolo 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Josh Curran 13. Jaeman Salmon 14. Bailey Hayward 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Samuel Hughes 17. Kitione Kautoga 19. Toby Sexton 20. Liam Knight 21. Jake Turpin 22. Jeral Skelton 23. Harry Hayes

Josh Addo-Carr returns from concussion protocols and goes straight into the side. Bailey Hayward gets a first grade debut off the bench.

Canterbury have named Stephen Crichton at fullback in a reshuffled side that has lost Blake Taaffe and Kurt Mann to injury as they head to face Melbourne on Friday.

Brisbane vs Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium: 8pm, Friday April 12

Odds: Broncos $1.28 Dolphins $3.60 – odds via PlayUp

Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Jesse Arthars 6. Ezra Mam 7. Jock Madden 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Fletcher Baker 11. Jaiyden Hunt 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Xavier Willison 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Tristan Sailor 18. Martin Taupau 19. Benjamin Te Kura 20. Jordan Pereira 21. Blake Mozer 22. Josiah Karapani

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Reynolds will be a big loss, but Walsh is a huge in for Kevin Walters. Corey Oates’ good form on return to the side earns him a wing spot.

Dolphins: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Jake Averillo 4. Tesi Niu 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Isaiya Katoa 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Thomas Flegler 16. Mark Nicholls 11. Kenny Bromwich 12. Euan Aitken 13. Ray Stone 14. Josh Kerr 15. Anthony Milford 22. Lachlan Hubner 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Oryn Keeley 19. Sean O’Sullivan 20. Mason Teague 21. Valynce Te Whare

Injuries are biting hard at the Dolphins, who reshuffle their back row following the suspension of Kurt Donoghoe. Anthony Milford adds spark from the bench. Tom Flegler’s shoulder has ruled him out with Lachlan Hubner called up to make his NRL debut.

Warriors vs Manly at Go Media Stadium: 3pm, Saturday April 13

Odds: Warriors $1.55 Sea Eagles $2.40 – odds via PlayUp

Warriors: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Tohu Harris 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 15. Tom Ale 16. Jazz Tevaga 17. Jacob Laban 18. Adam Pompey 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Zyon Maiu’u 22. Edward Kosi 23. Ali Leiataua

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is back after being scratched late last week, while Jacob Laban retains his place on the bench after debuting in the win over South Sydney.

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Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Tommy Talau 3. Tolutau Koula 4. Ben Trbojevic 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Josh Aloiai 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Corey Waddell 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Karl Lawton 15. Ethan Bullemor 16. Toafofoa Sipley 17. Nathan Brown 18. Jakob Arthur 19. Aaron Woods 20. Brad Parker 21. Raymond Tuiamalo Vaega 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong

Reuben Garrick is out under concussion protocols so Ben Trbojevic reverts to centre with Corey Waddell in to start in the back row. His bench spot is taken by Ethan Bullemor.

Parramatta vs North Queensland at CommBank Stadium: 5.30pm, Saturday April 13

Odds: Eels $2.30 Cowboys $1.60 – odds via PlayUp

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Morgan Harper 5. Sean Russell 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Dylan Brown 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Luca Moretti 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Kelma Tuilagi 18. Ofahiki Ogden 19. Blaize Talagi 20. Wiremu Greig 21. Makahesi Makatoa 22. Maika Sivo

Changes galore for Brad Erthur’s Eels, none more dramatic than the omission of long-standing winger Maika Sivo. Daejarn Asi returns in the halves with Blaize Talagi joining Sivo in the reserves. Morgan Harper gets a recall at centre with Bailey Simonsson heading to Sivo’s wing.

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Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Tomas Chester 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Sam McIntyre 17. Jack Gosiewski 18. Jake Clifford 19. Thomas Mikaele 20. Semi Valemei 21. Jamal Shibasaki 22. Viliami Vailea

Young centre Zac Laybutt’s ACL injury means Tom Chester comes in to play centre in his stead. Otherwise, it’s as you were for the Cowboys.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 06: Latrell Mitchell of the Rabbitohs is tackled during the round five NRL match between South Sydney Rabbitohs and New Zealand Warriors at Accor Stadium, on April 06, 2024, in Sydney, Australia.

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

South Sydney vs Cronulla at Accor Stadium: 7.35pm, Saturday April 13

Odds: Rabbitohs $2.60 Sharks $1.48 – odds via PlayUp

Rabbitohs: 1. Jye Gray 2. Tyrone Munro 3. Jack Wighton 4. Isaiah Tass 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Dean Hawkins 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Peter Mamouzelos 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray 14. Michael Chee Kam 15. Siliva Havili 16. Shaquai Mitchell 17. Davvy Moale 18. Damien Cook 19. Jacob Gagai 20. Sean Keppie 21. Tallis Duncan 22. Dion Teaupa

A debut for Jye Gray at the back with Latrell Mitchell serving a three-game ban and a first apperance of the year for Tyrone Munro on the wing, with Siliva Havili and Davvy Moale returning to the bench.

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Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Kayal Iro 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Thomas Hazelton 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Oregon Kaufusi 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Billy Burns 15. Jack Williams 16. Siosifa Talakai 17. Tuku Hau Tapuha 18. Daniel Atkinson 19. Jayden Berrell 20. Toby Rudolf 21. Samuel Stonestreet 22. Braden Hamlin-Uele

Briton Nikora is back, with Siosifa Talakai to the bench as Kayal Iro retains his spot in the centres after a strong showing on debut. Braden Hamlin-Uele and Toby Rudolf could return from injury layoffs after being named on the reserves.

Wests vs St George Illawarra at Campbelltown Sports Stadium: 4.05pm, Sunday April 14

Odds: Tigers $1.75 Dragons $2.05 – odds via PlayUp

Tigers:  1. Jahream Bula 2. Charlie Staines 3. Solomona Faataape 4. Justin Olam 5. Junior Tupou 6. Jayden Sullivan 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Alex Seyfarth 13. Fonua Pole 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Alex Twal 16. Justin Matamua 17. Asu Kepaoa 18. Solomon Alaimalo 19. Josh Feledy 20. Tony Sukkar 21. Kit Laulilii 22. Brandon Tumeth

Justin Matamua and Jake Simpkin should make their first appearances of the year off the bench as Benji Marshall opts for only enforced changes to his side with John Bateman and Samuela Fainu under head knock protocols and Latu Fainu with a hamstring issue.

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. Hame Sele 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tom Eisenhuth 14. Jesse Marschke 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Jack de Belin 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 18. Ben Murdoch-Masila 19. Christian Tuipulotu 20. Michael Molo 21. Toby Couchman 22. Mathew Feagai

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Hame Sele is back, but Shane Flanagan has resisted the urge to move Tyrell Sloan away from fullback with Zac Lomax again named on the wing.

Canberra vs Gold Coast at GIO Stadium: 6.15pm, Sunday April 14

Odds: Raiders $1.30 Titans $3.50 – odds via PlayUp

Raiders: 1. Chevy Stewart 2. James Schiller 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Xavier Savage 6. Ethan Strange 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Danny Levi 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Zac Hosking 13. Morgan Smithies 14. Tom Starling 15. Ata Mariota 16. Trey Mooney 17. Pasami Saulo 18. Kaeo Weekes 19. Simi Sasagi 20. Zac Woolford 21. Nick Cotric 22. Emre Guler

Zac Hosking is back, so Ata Mariota goes to the bench. James Schiller retains his place on the bench with Albert Hopoate still recovering from a BBQ accident. Chevy Stewart debuts at fullback with Jordan Rapana (knee) out while forward Corey Horsburgh is out with a groin complaint.

Titans:  1. Jayden Campbell 2. Harley Smith-Shields 3. Brian Kelly 4. AJ Brimson 5. Jojo Fifita 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Chris Randall 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Klese Haas 14. Sam Verrills 15. Erin Clark 16. Isaac Liu 17. Josiah Pahulu 18. Joe Stimson 19. Keano Kini 20. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 21. Tony Francis 22. Alofiana Khan-Pereira

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Joe Stimson goes to 18th man as Isaac Liu returns from his head knock. Kieran Foran (ankle) is set to play despite limping off in the loss to the Cowboys.

Bye: Penrith 

Panthers: Second-rower Scott Sorensen is a chance to overcome his knee injury after the bye while Jarome Luai should be good to go. Nathan Cleary is no guarantee to make a return from his hamstring strain.

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