Manly Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm at Brookvale Oval, 7:35pm
Cooper Cronk (ankle) remains on the injured list for the Storm ahead of Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash with Manly at Brookvale Oval but otherwise Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged 17-man squad following last week’s narrow home win over the Dragons. For Manly, interchange Jamie Buhrer returns to the 17 after missing his first game of the season last Sunday.
IN: Jamie Buhrer
OUT: Tim Robinson
Parramatta Eels v Sydney Roosters at Parramatta Stadium, 7:35pm
There is only one change to the Roosters’ side for Friday night’s clash with cellar-dwellers Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium. Penrith junior Tinirau Arona comes into the squad for suspended prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. The Eels are unchanged.
IN: Tinirau Arona
OUT: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium, 5:30pm
Injuries have hit the Newcastle Knights hard in the build-up to their must-win clash with Canterbury this Saturday. The eighth-placed Knights will be without centre Junior Sa’u (ankle) and utility Matt Hilder (head gash), while Cameron Ciraldo, who started at lock against the Broncos on Monday night, has been named 18th man. Their places have been taken by Zane Tetevano, Mark Taufua and former Bulldogs lower-grader Marvin Karawana. The Bulldogs have chosen the same 17 that went down to Manly last weekend.
IN: Zane Tetevano, Marvin Karawana, Mark Taufua
OUT: Junior Sa’u, Cameron Ciraldo, Matt Hilder
Canberra Raiders v Penrith Panthers at Canberra Stadium, 7:30pm
Penrith welcome back fullback Lachlan Coote for Saturday night’s trip to Canberra after a month on the sidelines with an ankle injury. He replaces Michael Jennings who injured a shoulder against the Warriors last weekend. The Panthers have also chosen local junior Blake Austin to make his top grade debut. The 20-year-old second-rower represented Australian Schoolboys in 2009 and has played Toyota Cup for the Panthers for the past three seasons.
IN: Lachlan Coote, Blake Austin
OUT: Michael Jennings, Matthew Bell
North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks at Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7:30pm
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has cracked the whip again this week, making five changes to the team that went down to the Roosters last Saturday night. Backs Nathan Gardner, Ben Pomeroy, Nathan Stapleton and Chad Townsend have all been relegated, along with rookie back-rower Tyson Frizell. Their replacements are Isaac Gordon, Stewart Mills, Colin Best, Albert Kelly and Jon Mannah. The Cowboys are close to full strength.
IN: Isaac Gordon, Stewart Mills, Colin Best, Albert Kelly, Jonathan Mannah
OUT: Nathan Gardner, Ben Pomeroy, Nathan Stapleton, Chad Townsend, Tyson Frizell
St George Illawarra Dragons v New Zealand Warriors at WIN Stadium, 2:00pm
The Dragons are expected to field their strongest possible line-up for Sunday’s crucial WIN Stadium clash with the Warriors. Internationals Brett Morris and Mark Gasnier return to the backline, while Adam Cuthbertson has been included on interchange. The Warriors have lost winger Manu Vatuvei (wrist), his place to be taken by former Parramatta utility Krisnan Inu.
St George Illawarra
IN: Brett Morris, Mark Gasnier, Adam Cuthbertson
OUT: Bronx Goodwin, Mitch Rein, Nathan Fien
IN: Krisnan Inu, Lewis Brown
OUT: Manu Vatuvei, Elijah Taylor
Brisbane Broncos v South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium, 3:00pm
The return of strike weapons Nathan Merritt and Greg Inglis will provide a huge boost for South Sydney when they take on Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. The Rabbitohs pair have crossed for 12 tries in their last two games. The Broncos have rushed Ben Hannant (hip flexor) back into their 17 following the loss of Test centre Justin Hodges last Monday night. Ben Te’o will move from the back row to take Hodges’ position but he is expected to have his hands full opposite Inglis.
IN: Ben Hannant
OUT: Justin Hodges
IN: Nathan Merritt, Greg Inglis
OUT: James Roberts, Fetuli Talanoa
Wests Tigers v Gold Coast Titans at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, 7:00pm
Wests Tigers have two notable inclusions for Monday night’s clash with the Titans at Campbelltown Stadium. Internationals Lote Tuqiri and Gareth Ellis are expected back from injury and will take the place of Mark Flanagan and Wade McKinnon. Former Test forward Luke Bailey has been chosen for the Titans.
IN: Lote Tuqiri, Gareth Ellis
OUT: Mark Flanagan, Wade McKinnon
IN: Luke Bailey
OUT: Dominique Peyroux