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NRL Round 12 Team Lists Late Mail: Warriors star axed after song snub, Walker missing final Origin audition, Koula out

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23rd May, 2024
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The Warriors have stood down pack leader Addin Fonua-Blake after a breach of club standards following last weekend’s win over Penrith at Magic Round.

The prop, who will leave for Cronulla at the end of the year, was absent from the dressing room for the team song and coach Andrew Webster‘s address to the playing group.

“This doesn’t meet our standards and Addin accepts full responsibility for his behaviour,” said Webster.

The decision to stand Fonua-Blake down has the potential to be costly for the Auckland-based club.

They already have up to 11 players missing for Sunday’s clash with the Dolphins, which looms as crucial in the Warriors’ fight to get their season back on track.

(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Souths fans will get another new halves pairing this weekend with Jack Wighton finally named in at five-eighth but Cody Walker, who had been moved to halfback for their clash with Parramatta on Saturday night, is now out with a calf strain.

The match was his last chance to show he should be retained as NSW five-eighth for Origin I. The Rabbitohs expect Walker will return to face Gold Coast after the round-13 bye.


Jarome Luai and Matt Burton are two other options to play five-eighth as the Blues look to start the series with a win on home turf at Accor Stadium in Sydney on June 5.

Latrell Mitchell will take over the captaincy in his absence with rookie Dion Teaupa recalled to halfback.

It is a clash of the interims with Ben Hornby and Trent Barrett taking over from sacked coaches, but Barrett’s first Eels side is largely unchanged from that which was battered by Melbourne, with only Ryan Matterson, who missed the game due to illness, coming in.

Mitch Moses‘ State of Origin hopes have been dashed after the Parramatta halfback was ruled out from a last-ditch Indigenous Round audition for the vacant NSW halves role.

The three-time Origin representative has not featured since injuring his foot in the Eels’ round-three win over Manly, but was touted as a possible Blues starter with incumbent Nathan Cleary ruled out and Cronulla flyer Nicho Hynes battling a calf complaint.

Lehi Hopoate is set to debut for Manly against the Melbourne Storm on Friday. On of 11 kids of former Sea Eagle John Hopoate, the 19-year-old has been a standout in NSW Cup and gets his chance in the top grade thanks to an injury to Manly fullback Tolu Koula (shoulder).

His brothers Will and Albert also played for Manly, a third brother, Jamil, was at the Broncos and a sister, Pani, plays for the Roosters in the NRLW.


Two key returnees are Storm half Jahrome Hughes and Manly winger Jason Saab, who will face off at Brookvale Oval on Friday night, assuming Hughes passes fitness tests.

They are without Cameron Munster due to his groin injury so need all the help they can get in the playmaking department.

Manly veteran Nathan Brown replaces Matt Lodge after the prop suffered a suspected torn bicep against Brisbane.

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)[/caption]

Wests Tigers lose centres Brent Naden and Justin Olam to the judiciary for their trip to North Queensland, while the Cowboys have named an unchanged 17 after their first win in six against the Bunnies.

Tigers coach Benji Marshall has called up Declan Casey and Josh Feledy for their club debuts, while Isaiah Papali’i returns from suspension.

The Cowboys struggled past Souths on Saturday night but hold fast to the same 17, though Kyle Feldt is on the extended bench.

Canterbury are also largely unchanged with only Jaeman Salmon, who missed last week with illness, coming in. The Dragons are off the bye and can name an almost full strength team with Luciano Leilua back for Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Canberra defeated the Bulldogs on Friday to open Magic Round and only change one player, with Josh Papali’i suspended. Peter Hola comes in.

They face a Roosters side who can bring back Joey Manu from concussion protocols and Sandon Smith from suspension, with the latter a straight swap for the injured Connor Watson (throat) on the interchange.


Round 12 teams

All times AEST

Canterbury vs St George Illawarra at Accor Stadium: 7.50pm, Thursday May 23

Bulldogs: 1. Connor Tracey 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Bronson Xerri 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Samuel Hughes 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Jaeman Salmon 13. Kurt Mann 14. Bailey Hayward 15. Josh Curran 16. Kurtis Morrin 17. Jacob Preston 19. Poasa Faamausili 20. Blake Taaffe 21. Jake Turpin 22. Blake Wilson 23. Toby Sexton

Versatile forward Jaeman Salmon is back, so Poasa Faamausili goes to the reserves.

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. Tom Eisenhuth 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack de Belin 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Luciano Leilua 18. Ben Murdoch-Masila 19. Mathew Feagai 20. Alec Tuitavake 21. Toby Couchman 22. Jesse Marschke

The Dragons welcome Luciano Leilua back to the bench from a calf injury at the expense of Ben Murdoch-Masila..


North Qld vs Wests at QCB Stadium: 6pm, Friday May 24

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Braidon Burns 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Viliami Vailea 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Griffin Neame 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Sam McIntyre 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 17. Jason Taumalolo 18. Jake Granville 19. Jake Clifford 20. Harrison Edwards 21. Kyle Feldt 22. Jaxon Purdue

Jason Taumololo continues off the bench as Braidon Burns is rewarded for two tries on debut by keeping his spot despite Kyle Feldt’s return from an ankle complaint.

Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. Charlie Staines 3. Declan Casey 4. Josh Feledy 5. Solomon Alaimalo 6. Lachlan Galvin 7. Jayden Sullivan 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Samuela Fainu 13. Justin Matamua 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Alex Twal 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Fonua Pole 18. Sione Fainu 19. Alexander Lobb 20. Tallyn Da Silva 21. Tony Sukkar 22. Solomona Faataape

Justin Olam (dangerous contact) and Brent Naden (high tackle) are both suspended, forcing a major backline reshuffle.

Tigers coach Benji Marshall has called up Declan Casey and Josh Feledy for their club debuts, while Isaiah Papali’i returns from suspension.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: Brent Naden of the Tigers looks on during the round 11 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Leichhardt Oval on May 20, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Brent Naden. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)


Manly vs Melbourne at 4 Pines Park: 8pm, Friday May 24

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

Front-rower Matt Lodge injured his bicep in the loss to Brisbane while hooker Lachlan Croker (concussion) is still out with concussion symptoms. Nathan Brown replaces Lodge.

Storm: 1. Sualauvi Faalogo 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Nick Meaney 5. Xavier Coates 6. Tyran Wishart 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Shawn Blore 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Trent Loiero 15. Grant Anderson 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17. Alec MacDonald 18. Bronson Garlick 19. Jack Howarth 20. Joe Chan 21. Dean Ieremia 22. Tristan Powell

Jahrome Hughes (calf) is hopeful of playing but a decision will be made later in the week while Cameron Munster (groin) is out of the Origin series after scans revealed major damage.

Canberra vs Sydney at GIO Stadium: 3pm, Saturday May 25

Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Xavier Savage 6. Ethan Strange 7. Kaeo Weekes 8. Emre Guler 9. Danny Levi 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Morgan Smithies 14. Tom Starling 15. Ata Mariota 16. Trey Mooney 17. Peter Hola 18. Albert Hopoate 19. Zac Woolford 20. Simi Sasagi 21. Michael Asomua 22. Hohepa Puru


Josh Papalii is banned for a hip drop in the win over the Bulldogs and Corey Horsburgh remains out with a groin injury.

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Joseph 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. Victor Radley 13. Naufahu Whyte 14. Sandon Smith 15. Egan Butcher 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Terrell May 18. Fetalaiga Pauga 19. Nat Butcher 20. Siua Wong 21. Zach Dockar-Clay 22. Ethan King

Naufahu Whyte starts in the 13 as the Roosters look to bolster their pack, with Victor Radley moving to an edge. The Roosters welcome back centre Joey Manu from concussion and utility Sandon Smith from a one-game suspension.

Cronulla vs Penrith at PointsBet Stadium: 5.30pm, Saturday May 25

Sharks: 1. William 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. Royce Hunt 17. Tuku Hau Tapuha 18. Mawene Hiroti 19. Billy Burns 20. Samuel Healey 21. Samuel Stonestreet 22. Braydon Trindall

Nicho Hynes will try to prove his readiness for Origin as he spearheads an unchanged Sharks side in a top-of-the-table clash. Toby Rudolf will be out for a few more weeks with his knee injury.

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Brian To’o 6. Jack Cole 7. Jarome Luai 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. Matt Eisenhuth 18. Mavrik Geyer 19. Soni Luke 20. Trent Toelau 21. Jesse McLean 22. Tyrone Peachey


Young prop Liam Henry is in but Luke Garner is out as Scott Sorensen returns to the starting 13.

South Sydney vs Parramatta at Accor Stadium: 7.35pm, Saturday May 25

Rabbitohs:  1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Taane Milne 4. Michael Chee Kam 5. Jacob Gagai 6. Jack Wighton 7. Cody Walker 18. Dion Teaupa 8. Davvy Moale 9. Damien Cook 10. Sean Keppie 11. Jacob Host 12. Jai Arrow 13. Keaon Koloamatangi 14. Peter Mamouzelos 15. Tallis Duncan 16. Siliva Havili 17. Thomas Burgess 19. Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson 20. Matthew French 21. Adam Christensen 22. Bayleigh Bentley-Hape

Dion Teaupa avoided a suspension but has been bumped to 18th man to allow Jack Wighton to play in the halves for the first time at South Sydney. Taane Milne and Michael Chee Kam will start in the centres, with Izaac Thompson dropped from the 17.

Cody Walker (calf) is out so Teaupa gets a recall at half.

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

Mitchell Moses again misses out with his damaged foot ligament, all but ending his chances of making the Blues team for Game 1 of Origin.


(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Brisbane vs Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium: 2pm, Sunday May 25

Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Corey Oates 3. Josiah Karapani 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Deine Mariner 6. Ezra Mam 7. Jock Madden 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. Jack Gosiewski 18. Joshua Rogers 19. Fletcher Baker 20. Blake Mozer 21. Martin Taupau 22. Jaiyden Hunt

Billy Walters is back after his wrist injury, bumping Tyson Smoothy to the bench and Blake Mozer to the reserves.

Titans: 1. Keano Kini 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Jojo Fifita 5. Tony Francis 6. Chris Randall 7. Thomas Weaver 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Sam Verrills 10. Josiah Pahulu 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Klese Haas 14. Keenan Palasia 15. Isaac Liu 16. Erin Clark 17. Joe Stimson 18. Jacob Alick-wiencke 19. Kieran Foran 20. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 21. Arama Hau 22. Jaylan De Groot

Jaimin Jolliffe (pec) is out, so Josiah Pahulu gets a start and Joe Stimson comes onto the bench.

Warriors vs Dolphins at Go Media Stadium: 4.05pm, Sunday May 25


Warriors: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7. Te Maire Martin 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 14. Tom Ale 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Bunty Afoa 11. Jackson Ford 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Jacob Laban 17. Marata Niukore 18. Paul Roache 20. Chanel Harris-Tavita 21. Zyon Maiu’u 22. Edward Kosi 23. Moala Graham-Taufa

Tohu Harris (finger) is still out after skipping Magic Round, so Dylan Walker continues in the 13 jersey. Hooker Wayde Egan (concussion) has been ruled out of the resurgent Warriors’ clash with the high-flying Dolphins, but centre Rocco Berry (hand), back-rower Marata Niukore (foot) and hooker Freddy Lussick (concussion) all return. 

The Warriors have dropped Addin Fonua-Blake after he breached club standards for leaving the dressing room early after last Sunday’s win over Penrith.

Dolphins: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Jake Averillo 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Isaiya Katoa 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Euan Aitken 13. Max Plath 14. Josh Kerr 15. Kenny Bromwich 16. Ray Stone 17. Connelly Lemuelu 18. Oryn Keeley 19. Sean O’Sullivan 20. Jarrod Wallace 21. Kurt Donoghoe 22. Trai Fuller

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett has dropped Kenny Bromwich to the bench to accommodate the returning Max Plath at lock. There is still no place for Trai Fuller as the Dolphins name a very strong team again.


Knights: Daniel Saifiti will return from a ban for a careless high tackle next week while Bradman Best’s short-term prospects don’t look great after his hamstring injury in the win over Gold Coast.


with AAP