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Late mail: Round 2

Staff Writers NRL.com Sat, Mar 15, 2014 - 6:40 PM

Panthers stars Tim Grant and Jamal Idris could both be late inclusions for Saturday's clash with the Storm. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos

All the latest team news for Round 2 (Members’ Round) of the Telstra Premiership, kicking off tonight in Brisbane and Gosford.

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Warriors v Dragons

Warriors: The versatile Ben Henry is set to play his first NRL game in the wake of a knee reconstruction. He will come off the bench, with Sione Lousi to be omitted.

Update: Manu Vatuvei is out due to illness, replaced by debutant David Fusitua.

Dragons: No changes expected. The Red V has a ballwork session at Kogarah today before heading to NZ, where Sam Williams will step in at halfback for Michael Witt (shoulder). Jack De Belin has been mentioned as a long-shot hope but will likely be scratched with a severe leg cork.

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Storm v Panthers

Storm: Have a captain’s run today and are expected to run out as named, with Cameron Smith to become the club’s most capped player (263 games) and Billy Slater to play his 250th. Test halfback Cooper Cronk will return from a shoulder problem.

Panthers: Tough prop Tim Grant (calf) told us he was ready to play before he was omitted from the team sheets - he remains in doubt, as does giant centre Jamal Idris (hamstring). Five-eighth Jamie Soward battled back spasms last weekend - he was believed to be good to go but is at risk of missing out. Isaac John may get a chance in the halves.

Update: Idris replaces Isaah Yeo in the centres, John replaces Soward at five-eighth and Kevin Naiqama comes in for Dave Simmons on the wing.

Roosters v Eels

Roosters: No changes are expected after today’s captain’s run, though Kane Evans will need to fight off Dylan Napa and Sio Siua Taukeiaho for the final bench spot. Mitch Aubusson comes into the back-row for suspended superstar Sonny Bill Williams, while French prop Remi Casty is in line for his NRL debut off the bench.

Update: Dylan Napa replaces Remi Casty on the bench.

Eels: Should be 1-17, with young hooker Kaysa Pritchard in for the banned Nathan Peats.

Update: Kayse Pritchard is out for the Eels with Kenny Edwards moving to hooker, Darcy Lussick shifting to lock and Mitch Allgood moving onto the bench.

Titans v Wests Tigers

Titans: Ironman Luke Douglas looks set to extend his 195-game streak despite a thumb injury, while David Mead (jaw), Ashley Harrison (concussion) and Mark Minichiello (knee) should all play. Prop Ryan James will drop out, but make his comeback for Tweed Heads in the Queensland Cup.

Wests Tigers: Final fitness tests loom tomorrow for Keith Galloway (toe), David Nofoaluma (hamstring) and Liam Fulton, who is unlikely to play due to concussion. Bodene Thompson will play in the back-row with a finger splint. Flyer Tim Simona has been mentioned as a late smoky.

Update: Fulton has failed to recover from a concussion and will be replaced in the 17 by Galloway. David Nofoaluma has been called up to replace Marika Koroibete on the wing.

Knights v Raiders

Knights: Kurt Gidley and halfback Tyrone Roberts should both play after passing concussion testing. Gidley is set to slot back into hooker despite spending time training at fullback through the week, pushing Travis Waddell to the bench and giving Matt Minto at shot at his NRL debut in the No.1.

Raiders: Should be 1-17. Centre Jarrod Croker (quad) will play but may not kick goals, with Reece Robinson and Anthony Milford back-up options. Big-name props David Shillington and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs aren’t quite ready to go.

Bulldogs v Sharks

Bulldogs: The Dogs should be unchanged, with exciting youngster Moses Mbye dropping off the bench. Winger Mitch Brown has passed concussion testing and will hope to impress with Tim Lafai returning from a broken hand through the NSW Cup.

Sharks: Todd Carney pulled up sore with his hamstring injury in training yesterday and is now in serious doubt – perhaps for longer than this match. The five-eighth’s injury compounds the loss of Paul Gallen (ankle), Andrew Fifita (suspension) and Siosaia Vave (suspension). Wade Graham looks set to fill the No.6 again, with Chris Heighington to return and fringe forwards David Fifita and Tim Robinson in the frame to play.

Broncos v Cowboys

Broncos:
Bench forward Todd Lowrie has been cleared of concussion, meaning Brisbane will be 1-17 for their first home game of the season.

Cowboys: Expected to play as named in the Queensland derby.

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Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs

Sea Eagles: The Sea Eagles have suffered a major blow on game day, with Test back-rower Glenn Stewart ruled out. Jesse Sene-Lefao is the obvious replacement. Otherwise Manly will run out as named - winger David Williams (knee) and veteran prop Jason King (shoulder) have been cleared. Tonight will be King’s first game since April 26 last year, as he completes his long journey back from a shoulder reconstruction.

Rabbitohs: Souths five-eighth Dylan Walker has been battling an ankle injury, as has back-rower Chris McQueen - it is believed Walker will be fit but McQueen is struggling, with Kyle Turner in line to take his place for an NRL debut. Luke Burgess may start the game amid line-up change.