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Warriors hooker Nathaniel Roache.

The Warriors have ruled out hooker Nathaniel Roache for the season due to a lumbar disk injury, a week out from the start of the new campaign.

Here is a rundown of the other injury concerns to emerge from the final round of trial matches.

There are concerns for North Queensland Cowboys centre Kane Linnett, who left the field with a pectoral injury after he flung his right arm out to stop a runaway Ryan Papenhuyzen in the second half of the Cowboys' pre-season clash with Melbourne. If it is a torn pec requiring surgery he faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines.

Lachlan Coote lasted 10 minutes of the Thurston-Smith testimonial before being taken from the field with hamstring tightness but remains hopeful of playing round one.

With Billy Slater rested as a precaution by the Melbourne Storm after jarring his shoulder in the World Club Challenge a week prior, stand-in fullback Jahrome Hughes suffered an identical-looking injury with club staff later confirming a minor dislocation. Joe Stimson had treatment for a head knock while prop Jesse Bromwich was ruled out pre-game with a virus.

Dean Whare was rested for the second half due to hamstring tightness but Penrith Panthers coach Anthony Griffin insists the move is precautionary and the centre is not in doubt for round one.

Cronulla Sharks props Ava Seumanufagai (hamstring) and Brayden Uele (ribs) will both require scans. The club is not concerned about Josh Dugan (jaw) and Matt Moylan (fluid in knee).

Gold Coast Titans winger Brendan Elliott lasted just seven minutes before leaving the field with a lower leg injury that will require scans after his right ankle folded awkwardly under him in a tackle. Will Matthews suffered a head knock but should be available for round one.

South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback Alex Johnston suffered a ribs injury when he was crunched in a big first-half tackle from James Graham which put him out for the game.

Wests Tigers' Matt Eisenhuth was another who suffered a head knock over the weekend but should be available for round one.

Here's how the 16 teams are shaping up during the off-season heading into the 2018 premiership campaign.

Brisbane Broncos

  • Jack Bird (shoulder, restricted to running only – round 4)
  • Darius Boyd (hamstring, limited training – aiming for round 1)
  • Andrew McCullough (knee, restricted duties – round 1)
  • Andre Savelio (knee season)

New Broncos recruit Andre Savelio suffered a ruptured ACL during the club's first trial in Theodore and will miss the season. Darius Boyd continues to work on a niggling hamstring issue in a bid to play round one. Jack Bird remains on track for a club debut in round four after shoulder surgery in the off-season. Anthony Milford (shoulder) made an early comeback in the trials. Andrew McCullough (knee) hopes to be fit for the opening round of the season.

Canberra Raiders

  • Josh Hodgson (knee, light running – round 18)

Injured Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson has started light running with an aim to return in July. 

Canberra Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson.
Canberra Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson. ©Gregg Porteous / NRL Photos

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

  • No current injury concerns

Adam Elliott (ankle), Kieran Foran (shoulder/hamstring) and Greg Eastwood (heart issue) all featured in the pre-season trials.

Cronulla Sharks

  • Ava Seumanufagai (hamstring - round 1)
  • Brayden Uele (ribs - round 1) 

Wade Graham (finger), Andrew Fifita (ankle) and Matt Moylan (knee) all featured in the trials. Ava Seumanufagai picked up a hamstring strain and Brayden Uele a ribs complaint and each will require scans to determine their round one availability.

Gold Coast Titans

  • Morgan Boyle (knee, back to full training – round 1)
  • Anthony Don (shoulder, no contact – round 3)
  • Kevin Proctor (throat, restricted duties – round 1)
  • Jack Stockwell (shoulder, in rehabilitation – round 3)
  • Jarrod Wallace (groin/shoulder, back to full training – suspended until round 3)

Kevin Proctor suffered a freak throat injury at training but is on track for round one. Anthony Don, Jarrod Wallace and Jack Stockwell are set to miss the opening rounds of the season through injury and suspension. There are plenty more players at the Titans who underwent surgeries over the off-season but no more appear to be in doubt for the season opener against Canberra.

Dylan Walker on the long road back

Manly Sea Eagles

  • Dylan Walker (leg/ankle, restricted duties round 4)
  • Johnathan Wright (finger, back to full training  trials)

Jake Trbojevic featured in the trials after returning from a pectoral injury while Jorge Taufua also came back from a knee reconstruction. Dylan Walker remains on track for a round four return after breaking his fibula and dislocating his ankle in a Prime Minister's XIII clash against PNG in September. Walker also had an off-season shoulder reconstruction. 

Melbourne Storm

  • Sandor Earl (knee, started running – 2019)
  • Billy Slater (shoulder - round 1)
  • Jahrome Hughes (shoulder - scans)

New signing Sandor Earl is determined to get back on the paddock in 2018 and began running in early February. Christian Welch played in the trials following a knee reconstruction. Fullback Billy Slater sent a scare through the camp when he jarred his troublesome shoulder in the World Club Challenge but is hopeful of playing round one. Back-up fullback Jahrome Hughes suffered a similar injury and minor dislocation in the final trial with scans to determine the extent of the damage.

Newcastle Knights

  • Mitch Barnett (shoulder, back to full training – round 1)
  • Dylan Phythian (ACL, running, no contact – round 6)
  • Luke Yates (ankle, back to full training round 1)

Tautau Moga and Daniel Saifiti returned from off-season shoulder surgeries in the trial against Parramatta. Dylan Phythian began change of direction running before Christmas and the medical team have pencilled him in for a round six return, although the rookie is aiming for sooner. Jack Johns (broken arm), Luke Yates and Cory Denniss (both ankle) have returned to full training following minor surgeries.

North Queensland Cowboys

  • Josh Chudleigh (knee – indefinite)
  • Shaun Fensom (leg, back running – round 2-4)
  • Kane Linnett (pectoral - indefinite)

Co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott returned from serious 2017 injuries in the trials. Shaun Fensom, who badly broke his leg in the Cowboys' grand final loss, is hoping to be available for the season-opener against Cronulla, but a more realistic timeframe at this stage is a return sometime during the first month of the season.

Parramatta Eels fullback Clinton Gutherson.
Parramatta Eels fullback Clinton Gutherson. ©Gregg Porteous / NRL Photos

Parramatta Eels

  • Clint Gutherson (knee, running, no contact – round 3)
  • Tony Williams (knee, running, no contact – round 3)

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur admits Clint Gutherson is unlikely to be fit for the opening round. Tony Williams is suspended for the opening two rounds but should have recovered from a knee injury once that is served. Sydney Roosters recruit Kane Evans recovered from a broken wrist suffered in the World Cup to feature in the trial against Newcastle.

Penrith Panthers

  • Wayde Egan (shoulder indefinite)
  • Tyrone May (knee, running, no contact – round 5)
  • Tyrone Phillips (pectoral, started rehabilitation – round 14)
  • Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (ankle, in rehabilitation - round 2)
  • Dean Whare (hamstring - round 1)

Penrith suffered another pre-season setback with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak facing six weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury, though he is an outside chance of being available for round one. Reagan Campbell-Gillard (elbow), Waqa Blake (shoulder), Corey Harawira-Naera (shoulder) and Dylan Edwards (knee) returned in the trials. Dean Whare suffered hamstring tightness in the final trial but should be available for round one. Former Bulldog Tyrone Phillips will miss half of the season after tearing a pectoral muscle. Tyrone May is the only other member of the squad set to miss the start of the season as he continues his return from an ACL rupture in the finals last year.

Penrith Panthers utility Tyrone May.
Penrith Panthers utility Tyrone May. ©Scott Davis / NRL Photos

South Sydney Rabbitohs

  • Adam Reynolds (foot, restricted duties round 1)
  • Alex Johnston (ribs - round 1)

Greg Inglis (knee) and Angus Crichton (ankle) made welcome returns in the Charity Shield in Mudgee. Adam Reynolds has been placed in a moon boot as a precaution with plantar fasciitis - an inflammation in the foot, but is expected to be fit for the opening round of the season. Alex Johnston picked up a ribs injury in the Charity Shield but should be available for round one. 

St George Illawarra Dragons

  • Kurt Mann (calf - round 1)

Kurt Mann was withdrawn from the Charity Shield with a calf complaint but the squad is tracking to be fully fit for round one.

Sydney Roosters

  • Boyd Cordner (knee, back to full training – round 1)
  • Luke Keary (broken jaw – round 1)

Luke Keary suffered a broken jaw at training in late January and is racing the clock to be fit for the club's opening round clash with the Wests Tigers. Both Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves underwent stem cell surgery following the World Cup. Cordner was rested through the trials while Waerea-Hargreaves got a run against Manly. 


  • Gerard Beale (leg, light duties round 8)
  • Agnatius Paasi (shoulder, back to full training – round 1)
  • Nathaniel Roache (neck, season)

Nathaniel Roache has been ruled out for the season due to surgery on a lumbar disc injury. Former Shark Gerard Beale broke his tibia and fibula playing for the Kiwis in the World Cup and faced six months on the sidelines but recently told he could make a shock return in the opening round against the Rabbitohs in Perth.

Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle.
Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle. ©Paul Barkley / NRL Photos

Wests Tigers

  • Jacob Liddle (shoulder, restricted duties – round 2-3)

Chris McQueen returned from neck surgery in the trials. Jacob Liddle continues his comeback from reconstructions on both shoulders and is racing the clock to be fit for the opening round.

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