The top five teams on the Premiership ladder are among the teams who have used the least amount of players so far this season, which gives their 2011 title hopes a major boost.

Statistics from League Information Services show that the teams who won the premiership in the past three years all used no more than 28 players for the entire season – Dragons (2010, 28), Storm (2009, 28) and Sea Eagles (2008, 27). The Panthers also used only 28 when they won in 2003, but the Roosters of 2002 are an anomaly, winning the title despite an injury crisis.

This year’s stats show the Sea Eagles (24 players used), Storm (25) and Cowboys (26) – who are 2nd, 1st  and 4th respectively on the Telstra Premiership ladder – are in a good position with six rounds to go before the finals, using no more than 24-26 players.

The other top five teams on the ladder – 3rd-placed Dragons (28 players used) and 5th-placed Broncos(28) – are also in the top half of the table for the number of players used. But if recent statistics are any guide, with 28 players used so far, they cannot not afford any more injuries.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Roosters, who are second last, have used the most players with 33.

Below is a list of how many players each club has used so far:

1. Manly (24)
2. Melbourne (25)
3. North Queensland (26)
4. Penrith (26)
5. Souths (27)
=6. Parramatta (28)
=6. St George Illawarra (28)
=6. Brisbane (28)
=6. Canberra (28)
=6. Cronulla (28)
=11. Canterbury (29)
=11. Warriors (29)
13. Wests Tigers (30)
14. Gold Coast (31)
15. Newcastle (32)
16. Sydney Roosters (33)

Below is the Round 21 Casualty Ward*
*Please note: The Injury list is subject to change, and players may return to the football field earlier or later than originally published.  

Brisbane Broncos:
Ben Te’o – Fractured Arm : Out indefinitely
Shane Tronc – Neck : Out indefinitely
Mitchell Dodds – Shoulder : Out indefinitely

Canberra Raiders:
Matt Orford – Groin : Out indefinitely
Terry Campese – Groin : Out indefinitely
David Shillington – Pectoral : Due back Round 22
Tom Learoyd-Lahrs – Bicep : Out for the season
Reece Robinson – Knee : Due back Round 24
Trevor Thurling – Achilles : Out for the season

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs:
Michael Ennis – Neck : Out indefinitely
Kris Keating – Elbow : Due back Round 24
Martin Taupau – Ankle : Out indefinitely
David Stagg – Ankle : Due back Round 25

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks:
Jayson Bukuya – Ankle : Due back Round 24
Paul Gallen – Calf : Out indefinitely

Gold Coast Titans:
Kevin Gordon – Knee : Out for the season
Brad Meyers – Wrist : Forced into retirement
Nathan Friend – Shoulder : Out indefinitely
Ryan James – Knee : Out for the season
Mat Rogers – Foot : Out for the season
Ashley Harrison – Elbow : Out indefinitely
Ben Ridge – Unknown : Due back Round 22
Michael Henderson – Unknown : Out indefinitely
Steve Michaels – Head : Out indefinitely

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles:
Tony Williams – Hamstring : Out indefinitely
Dave Williams –Hamstring : Due back Round 23

Melbourne Storm:
Chase Stanley – Knee : Out for the season
Luke Kelly – Osteitis Pubis : Out indefinitely 
Troy Thompson – Ankle : Out indefinitely
Todd Lowrie – Calf : Due back Round 23

Newcastle Knights:
Adam MacDougall – Knee : Out indefinitely
Shannon McDonnell – Shoulder : Out for the season
Wes Naiqama – Knee : Out indefinitely
Daniel Tolar – Achilles : Due back Round 23
Ben Rogers – Shoulder : Out for the Season
Richard Fa'aoso – Hamstring : Due back Round 22

North Queensland Cowboys:
Antonio Winterstein – Pectoral : Out for the season
Johnathan Thurston – Knee : Out indefinitely

Parramatta Eels:
Joel Reddy – Pectoral : Out indefinitely
Justin Poore – Knee : Out indefinitely
Jacob Loko – Knee : Out for the season
Ryan Morgan – Hamstring : Out indefinitely

Penrith Panthers:
Timana Tahu – Pectoral : Out for the season
Michael Gordon – Knee : Out for the season
Sandor Earl – Shoulder : Out for the season
Lachlan Coote – Ankle : Due back Round 23
Travis Burns – Hand : Due back Round 23

South Sydney Rabbitohs:
Scott Geddes – ACL : Out for the season
Luke Stuart – Knee : Out for the season
Sam Burgess – Ankle : Out for the season
Roy Asotasi – Shoulder : Due back Round 25
Kane Morgan – Knee : Out for the season

St George-Illawarra Dragons:
Bronx Goodwin – Knee : Due back Round 26
Cameron King – Pectoral : Due back Round 22
Dean Young – Knee : Due back Round 22

Sydney Roosters:
Mitchell Aubusson – Shoulder : Out for the season
Daniel Conn – Neck : Forced into retirement
Martin Kennedy – Foot : Out for the season
Anthony Cherrington – Knee : Out for the season

Warriors:
Jerome Ropati – Knee : Out for the season
Lewis Brown – Ankle: Due back Round 22
Sione Lousi – Knee: Due back Round 24
Lance Hohaia – Knee: Due back Round 22

Wests Tigers:
Geoff Daniela – Chest : Out indefinitely
Simon Dwyer – Neck/Shoulder : Out for the season
Lote Tuqiri – Quad : Due back Round 24