Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson says his role as a kicker has never been more important given changes to the rule concerning attacking kicks rolling dead. Copyright: Renee McKay / NRL Photos.

Bulldogs tip big minutes for NRL stars in trial

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have named many high-profile NRL players for this weekend's trial, expecting them to play big minutes in the team's last run before the season proper.

Trent Hodkinson, Tony Williams, James Graham, Greg Eastwood, Aiden Tolman and co-captains Michael Ennis and Frank Pritchard will all take the field. Coach Des Hasler has also named several up-and-coming players who featured in the recent Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, such as Ed Murphy, Moses Mbye and Corey Thompson.

Many of the club’s higher-profiled players are expected to play larger minutes in the Charity Cup match against the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, February 23, according to a club statement.

“The first trial was to blow the cobwebs out but this one is our last crack at getting things right before Round 1 so we’re going to be giving it our all," halfback Trent Hodkinson said.

“We have to get into the groove of playing footy, getting the little things right and spending time together out on the park.

“The Storm are a quality side and whoever plays for them will provide us with a good test so we hope plenty of people come out to have a look at us in action.”

One of the big questions over the Bulldogs' line-up is who will play fullback in Round 1. Youngster Pat Templeman has been touted as a prospect but wasn't named for the trial, suggesting he will start the season in the NYC side.

Other fullback candidates in action in the trial are Sam Perrett, Krisnan Inu, Mitch Brown and Josh Morris.

Bulldogs squad: Mitch Brown, Tim Browne, Greg Eastwood, Michael Ennis, Dale Finucane, James Graham, Jaline Graham, Trent Hodkinson, Krisnan Inu, Josh Jackson, Sam Kasiano, David Klemmer, Moses Mbye, Josh Morris, Ed Murphy, Sam Perrett, Frank Pritchard, Chase Stanley, Corey Thompson, Aiden Tolman, Tony Williams.

You can view the other trial team lists here.