Brisbane has been decimated by Origin and injury as coach Kevin Walters cobbles together a team to take on the Dragons in round 17.
The Broncos are without Payne Haas, Te Maire Martin, Corey Jensen, TC Robati, and Brendan Piakura this week due to various ailments. Kurt Capewell, Selwyn Cobbo, Pat Carrigan, and Thomas Flegler are out due to Queensland commitments.
Zac Hosking – the son of former Manly prop David Hosking – will make his NRL debut in their backrow as a result.
The Knights get a welcome boost, with both Bradman Best and Jayden Brailey returning from injury.
Hooker Brailey will play his first game of the season, but start on the bench.
Cronulla Sharks vs Melbourne Storm at PonitsBet Stadium, 7.50pm
Referee: Adam Gee
Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Connor Tracey 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Dale Finucane 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Teig Wilton 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Braydon Trindall 19. Jesse Colquhoun 20. Kade Dykes 21. Braden Hamlin-Uele 22. Lachlan Miller
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Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Grant Anderson 6. Nick Meaney 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Chris Lewis 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Alec MacDonald 17. Jordan Grant 18. Bronson Garlick 19. Young Tonumaipea 20. Jack Howarth 21. Jayden Nikorima 22. Tyson Smoothy
Analysis: The Sharks lose Siosifa Talakai to Blues camp, with Connor Tracey coming in to replace him. Melbourne bring Nick Meaney into the halves, with Jayden Nikorima dropping to the reserves and Cameron Munster heading back into Origin camp. Dean Ieremia comes onto the wing to replace Origin-bound Xavier Coates, while Brandon Smith goes to hooker to replace Harry Grant.
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Newcastle Knights vs South Sydney Rabbitohs at McDonald Jones Stadium, 7.55pm
Referee: Todd Smith
Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Kurt Mann 14. Jayden Brailey 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Leo Thompson 17. Mathew Croker 18. Simi Sasagi 19. Pasami Saulo 20. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 21. Hymel Hunt 22. Jake Clifford
Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Taane Milne 4. Isaiah Tass 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Siliva Havili 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jed Cartwright 13. Mark Nicholls 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Blake Taaffe 16. Michael Chee Kam 17. Davvy Moale 18. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 19. Ben Lovett 20. Richard Kennar 21. Shaq Mitchell 22. Dean Hawkins
Analysis: The Knights welcome back Bradman Best from injury, as well as Jayden Brailey who will play his first game for the season, off the bench. South Sydney retains Latrell Mitchell at fullback, after he opted out of being available for New South Wales. Campbell Graham and Hame Sele are out injured, while Cameron Murray and Damien Cook are out with Origin duties.
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Wests Tigers vs Parramatta Eels at Leichhardt Oval, 7.35pm
Referee: Chris Butler
Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Adam Doueihi 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Fa’amanu Brown 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Stefano Utoikamanu 15. Justin Matamua 16. Jacob Liddle 17. Fonua Pole 18. Austin Dias 19. Alex Seyfarth 20. Junior Tupou 21. Asu Kepaoa 22. Jock Madden
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Waqa Blake 4. Viliami Penisini 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Marata Niukore 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Ryan Matterson 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Tom Opacic 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Ky Rodwell 18. Nathan Brown 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Sean Russell 21. Wiremu Greig 22. Hayze Perham
Analysis: The Tigers get James Tamou back, while Justin Matamua makes his NRL debut on the bench. Adam Doueihi starts at centre and pushes James Roberts out of the side. The Eels lose Junior Paulo to Blues duties, with Marata Niukore moving to start at prop and Ryan Matterson coming in at lock.
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Brisbane Broncos vs St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium, 4.05pm
Referee: Grant Atkins
Broncos: 1. Tesi Niu 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Jordan Pereira 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Keenan Palasia 9. Billy Walters 10. Ryan James 11. Zac Hosking 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington 14. Cory Paix 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Xavier Willison 17. Tyson Gamble 18. Delouise Hoeter 19. Jake Turpin 20. Deine Mariner 21. Tyrone Roberts 22. Logan Bayliss-Brow
Dragons: 1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Jayden Sullivan 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Moses Mbye 15. Francis Molo 16. Aaron Woods 17. Michael Molo 18. Jaiyden Hunt 19. Tautau Moga 20. Josh Kerr 21. Billy Burns 22. Jonathon Reuben
Analysis: Zac Hosking, the son of former Manly prop David Hosking, makes his NRL debut for the Broncos in the backrow. Tesi Niu also returns in time to replace the injured Te Maire Martin at fullback. The Broncos have a raft of players out due to injury.
For the Dragons, Ben Hunt’s unavailability due to Origin brings young gun Jayden Sullivan in at halfback. It’s the first time Sullivan will start an NRL game in the No.7 jumper, which is his preferred position.
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