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NRL Round 8 Team Lists Late Mail: Injury causes Dragons reshuffle, Cleary back, Broncos' mixed news, Eels blood new half

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24th April, 2024
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Nathan Cleary heads the list of big names returning this weekend with the superstar halfback suiting up for his first game in over a month for the Panthers’ Anzac Round clash with the Cowboys.

The Broncos are bringing Payne Haas and Adam Reynolds back into their side, though Ezra Mam and Selwyn Cobbo are absent for their clash with the Tigers in Campbelltown.

Sam Walker is the big in for the Roosters in the showpiece Anzac Day game against the Dragons at Allianz Stadium, while Dom Young is immediately back in the side after suspension, shifting Joseph Suaalii to the centres and Michael Jennings out entirely.

St George Illawarra winger Mikaele Ravalawa has been ruled out of the Anzac Day clash with knee soreness.

It means Zac Lomax’s return to the centres is short-lived, with the departing Dragon reverting to the right wing while Christian Tuipulotu stays on the left one.

Parramatta bring Maika Sivo back in amid a major reshuffle that sees almost the entire bench changed: Kelma Tuilagi, Brendan Hands and Makahesi Makatoa are all new on the interchange.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 10: Kalyn Ponga of the Knights kicks off during the round 15 NRL match between Brisbane Broncos and Newcastle Knights at Suncorp Stadium on June 10, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Kalyn Ponga kicks off for the Newcastle Knights. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

All eyes will be on Ethan Sanders, with the gun NSW Cup half listed as five eighth on NRL debut for the Eels’ trip to Manly, who are almost full strength with Josh Aloiai and Nathan Brown back from suspension.

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Kalyn Ponga’s replacement has been confirmed as debutant David Armstrong, with the 23-year-old NSW Cup standout selected ahead of English import Will Pryce.

Dane Gagai, who had also been mooted as a potential fill-in at 1, returns to the centres after missing the loss to the Bulldogs with a calf injury.

For the Raiders, with rookie Ethan Strange lining up at five-eighth this season, coach Ricky Stuart calls up another inexperienced playmaker in Manly recruit Kaeo Weekes for Sunday’s GIO Stadium stoush with the Sharks in place of the injured Jamal Fogarty.

Cronulla stood down Braydon Trindall following his DUI charge on Tuesday, with Dan Atkinson taking the six jumper.

Wests Tigers winger Junior Tupou suffered a suspected broken foot in Saturday’s loss to the Panthers and is replaced by ex-Super Rugby star Solomon Alaimalo.

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Cowboys back-rower Heilum Luki has not been named this Saturday in the home fixture against Penrith after ankle surgery, with Todd Payten opting not to ring the changes after his side’s thrashing on the road to Cronulla.

Rabbitohs prop Tevita Tatola is facing 12 weeks on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a fractured foot while winger Tyrone Munro is also out long term due to surgery to repair his fractured collarbone.

But they boosted by Jai Arrow making his first appearance since suffering shoulder damage in Las Vegas and the recall of Damien Cook to the starting side.

Experienced second-rower Kurt Capewell has suffered a throat injury and misses the Warriors’ Anzac Day clash against Gold Coast, replaced in the starting side by Jacob Laban.

Round 8 teams

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All times AEST

Warriors vs Gold Coast at Go Media Stadium: 2pm, Thursday April 25

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. Jacob Laban 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Tom Ale 16. Zyon Maiu’u 17. Paul Roache 18. Adam Pompey 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Ali Leiataua 22. Edward Kosi 23. Tanner Stowers-Smith

Veteran utility Dylan Walker returns from an ankle injury while Chanel Harris-Tavita drops out. Jacob Laban replaces Kurt Capewell (throat).

Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Jojo Fifita 6. Tanah Boyd 7. Kieran Foran 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. Tony Francis 20. Aaron Schoupp 21. Keano Kini 22. Jacob Alick

Young prop Keenan Palasia, winger Phil Sami and fullback Jayden Campbell are all still absent so Des Hasler names an unchanged team.

MUDGEE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24: Jack Bird of the Dragons looks to pass during the NRL Pre-season challenge match between St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers at Glen Willow Sporting Complex on February 24, 2024 in Mudgee, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Jack Bird. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

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St George Illawarra vs Sydney at Allianz Stadium: 4.05pm, Thursday April 25

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Moses Suli 19. Jack Bird 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Kyle Flanagan 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Hame Sele 11. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tom Eisenhuth 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Jack de Belin 17. Ben Murdoch-Masila 18. Michael Molo 20. Toby Couchman 21. Viliami Fifita 22. Jesse Marschke

Second-rower Luciano Leilua remains out while Mikaele Ravalawa’s knee injury causes a reshuffle with Jack Bird in off the reserves at centre and Zac Lomax back on the wing.

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 4. Joseph Manu 5. Dominic Young 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Angus Crichton 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Connor Watson 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Egan Butcher 17. Terrell May 18. Michael Jennings 19. Siua Wong 20. Zach Dockar-Clay 21. Xavier Va’a 22. Fetalaiga Pauga

Sam Walker is back, so Connor Watson goes to the bench and Zach Dockar-Clay to the reserves. 

Melbourne vs South Sydney at AAMI Park: 7.50pm, Thursday April 25

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

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Craig Bellamy’s side are unchanged, though Nelson Asofa-Solomona is listed in the 8 jumper but may swap places with Christian Welch on gameday.

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

Latrell Mitchell has two more matches to serve on his ban so Jye Gray continues at fullback. Struggling South Sydney have recalled State of Origin hooker Damien Cook for Thursday’s clash against Melbourne. He is joined in the 17 by newly fit Jai Arrow and Tyrone Munro’s injury replacement Jacob Gagai

Manly vs Parramatta at 4 Pines Park: 8pm, Friday April 26

Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Tolutau Koula 4. Reuben Garrick 5. Tommy Talau 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. Matthew Lodge 17. Nathan Brown 18. Aaron Woods 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Jaxson Paulo 21. Dean Matterson 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong

Josh Aloiai and Nathan Brown are back, forcing Matt Lodge to the bench and Aaron Woods to 18th man.

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

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Ethan Sanders replaces Daejarn Asi (head knock) in the halves for struggling Parramatta, whose coach Brad Arthur has made a handful of other changes in response to the 44-16 loss to the Dolphins.

Sean Russell, Bryce Cartwright, Luca Moretti and Blaize Talagi all drop out of the 17 that lost in Darwin, where Arthur said his side “gave up” in the second half.

Maika Sivo returns from his spell in reserve grade to face Manly on Friday, with Brendan Hands, Makahesi Makatoa and Kelma Tuilagi all joining the Eels’ bench.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 27: Payne Haas of the Broncos is seen after his team's victory during the round 22 NRL match between Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters at The Gabba on July 27, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Payne Haas. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Wests vs Brisbane at Campbelltown Sports Stadium: 5.30pm, Saturday April 27

Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. Charlie Staines 3. Brent Naden 4. Justin Olam 5. Solomon Alaimalo 6. Lachlan Galvin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Samuela Fainu 13. John Bateman 14. Latu Fainu 15. Alex Twal 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Fonua Pole 18. Justin Matamua 19. Alexander Lobb 20. Asu Kepaoa 21. Jake Simpkin 22. Tallyn Da Silva

Young winger Junior Tupou suffered a suspected broken foot in Saturday’s loss to the Panthers and is replaced by debutant Solomon Alaimalo.

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Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Jesse Arthars 5. Deine Mariner 6. Jock Madden 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Xavier Willison 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Fletcher Baker 18. Tristan Sailor 19. Jaiyden Hunt 20. Martin Taupau 21. Jordan Pereira 22. Benjamin Te Kura

Payne Haas (knee), winger Deine Mariner (back), captain Adam Reynolds (hamstring) and second-rower Brendan Piakura (ankle) are all back, meaning Tristan Sailor and Jaiyden Hunt go to the reserves.

Jock Madden switches to 6 to cover Ezra Mam and Jesse Arthars moves in one to fill Selwyn Cobbo’s centre position.

North Qld vs Penrith at QCB Stadium: 7.35pm, Saturday April 27

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

Todd Payten said he could swing the axe at the selection table after their Shark Park smash-up but has stuck to the side that lost.

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Taylan May 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Daine Laurie 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Liam Henry 17. Luke Garner 18. Matt Eisenhuth 19. Paul Alamoti 20. Brad Schneider 21. Mavrik Geyer 22. Tyrone Peachey

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Nathan Cleary is back, so Brad Schneider goes to the reserves. Paul Alamoti also drops back to allow Taylan May a return.

Dolphins vs Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium: 2pm, Sunday April 28

Dolphins: 1. Trai Fuller 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. Mark Nicholls 11. Kenny Bromwich 12. Euan Aitken 13. Max Plath 14. Josh Kerr 15. Kurt Donoghoe 16. Ray Stone 17. Oryn Keeley 18. Mason Teague 19. Sean O’Sullivan 20. Jarrod Wallace 21. Valynce Te Whare 22. Connelly Lemuelu

Trai Fuller retains his 1 jumper after a strong showing against Parramatta, while Kurt Donoghoe is straight back in following suspension.

Knights: 1. David Armstrong 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Tyson Gamble 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. Jed Cartwright 17. Brodie Jones 18. Mathew Croker 19. Thomas Cant 20. Jack Cogger 21. Will Pryce 22. Krystian Mapapalangi

Tyson Gamble is preferred at 6 after a late switch with Jack Cogger last week. Jed Cartwright is elevated to the bench for the suspended Jack Hetherington.

Newcastle have named uncapped David Armstrong as Kalyn Ponga’s injury replacement at fullback to help salvage their ailing NRL season.

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Armstrong, 23, joined the Knights’ top-30 squad this season after two years in NSW Cup and has already attracted Super League interest, despite not yet debuting at first-grade level.

Dane Gagai will captain the Knights on return from his calf injury.

Canberra vs Cronulla at GIO Stadium: 2pm, Sunday April 28

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

The long-term absence of Jamal Fogarty is a huge blow for the Green Machine with Kaeo Weekes to partner rookie Ethan Strange in the halves.

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

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Winger Sione Katoa (suspension) will return to replace debutant Sam Stonestreet but Dale Finucane’s shock retirement eases Craig Fitzgibbon’s current selection headache after Royce Hunt couldn’t get a start in the game-day 17 against North Queensland due to their glut of forwards in form. Dan Atkinson will debut at five-eighth for Braydon Trindall, who has been stood down for his drink-driving incident.

Bye

Bulldogs: Young prop Chris Patolo is set to miss a large chunk of the season after suffering an MCL rupture in the early stages of Sunday’s win over Newcastle.

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