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Melbourne's premiership defence has copped an early hit with co-captain Dale Finucane out for six weeks with a calf injury.

Scans have revealed the NSW Origin forward suffered a high-grade tear at training and the club does not expect him back until after the first month of the season.

Finucane was hampered in the latter stages of last season with a calf problem.

"A couple of days ago towards the end of training I was accelerating and as I gained momentum I felt a little pop in my calf. I knew immediately when I did it because I was limited when I did it. I'm looking at 4-6 weeks," Finucane told SEN on Thursday.

With Harry Grant already sidelined, Brandon Smith will be filling in at hooker so Craig Bellamy's options to replace Finucane at lock are likely to be between Tui Kamikamica, Nelson Asofa-Solomona or Chris Lewis.

Grant injured in trial

Grant has been ruled out for at least the opening three rounds of the season after scans revealed a high-grade medial ligament strain in Saturday's trial win over Newcastle.

He will miss games against South Sydney, Parramatta and Penrith before likely being available in round four against the Broncos on April 4.

Meanwhile, Manly hooker Cade Cust has been cleared of a broken thumb after Sunday's 52-18 trial loss to Wests Tigers.

Cust left the field midway through the first half but the club say he's now a chance to play in round one. Lachlan Croker, who had a slight hamstring concern, should also be right to go.

Broncos playmaker Anthony Milford has declared he will be right for round one after overcoming a broken hand.

The former Maroons five-eighth did not play in Brisbane's trial loss to the Cowboys but he said at training he would be available for selection.

Brisbane prop Tom Flegler (shoulder) and utility back Jesse Arthars (ankle) have also been cleared of any serious damage and are available for selection in round one against Parramatta next Friday.

Raiders captain Jarrod Croker (shoulder) has been given the all-clear to resume full squad training.

Croker has been training with the squad for the past few weeks, but can now participate in all of the contact sessions. A decision on his availability for round one will be made closer to the game.

Episode 1 - Footy returns for 2021

Warriors rake Wayde Egan left the field early in his team's trial against the Gold Coast with an elbow injury.

He is all but certain to be ruled out of the opening-round clash with the Gold Coast in Gosford but club officials are hopeful he will be right the following week.

Halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita has been nursing a quadriceps injury but is confident he'll be ready for the season proper.

Tigers centre Joey Leilua was rested from the trial at Leichhardt Oval with a minor foot injury.

New Bulldogs centre Nick Cotric and Sharks counterpart Josh Dugan failed to finish their match due to ankle injuries but both are expected to be fit for the opening round.

2021 NRL premiers

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Your club's Casualty Ward: Broncos 
Raiders Bulldogs | Sharks | Titans 
Sea Eagles 
| Storm | Knights | Eels
Cowboys |
Rabbitohs | Dragons | Roosters

Warriors | Wests Tigers

The Casualty Ward

Brisbane Broncos

Broncos veteran Dale Copley is out for at least six weeks after suffering a throat injury in the club's trial game against Wynnum Manly at Kitchener Park.

Copley underwent a laryngoscopy which showed significant trauma to the throat and swelling in his airway.

  • Jesse Arthars (ankle, round 1)
  • Tom Flegler (shoulder, round 1)
  • Herbie Farnworth (chest, round 1)
  • Anthony Milford (broken hand, round 1)
  • Payne Haas (suspended, round 4)
  • Dale Copley (throat, indefinite)
  • Kotoni Staggs (knee, mid-season)

Stuart discusses Foundation plans and season ahead

Canberra Raiders

  • Jarrod Croker (shoulder, round 1)

Canterbury Bulldogs

Nick Cotric is expected to be fit for round one despite suffering an ankle injury in the trial against the Sharks.

Jeremy Marshall-King, Dylan Napa, Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Jake Averillo, are all pushing for round one selection despite missing last week's trial.

  • Nick Cotric (ankle, round 1)
  • Dylan Napa (knee, round 1)
  • Jake Averillo (elbow, round 1)
  • Jeremy Marshall-King (foot, round 1)
  • Raymond Faitala-Mariner (ankle, round 1)
  • Luke Thompson (suspended, round 5)
  • Jayden Okunbor (knee, mid-late season)
  • Christian Crichton (knee, season)

Barrett's influence helps prepare Flanagan

Cronulla Sharks

Josh Dugan suffered what is expected to be a minor ankle injury in Saturday's trial against Canterbury.

Prop Royce Hunt is targeting an earlier-than-expected return from a ruptured patella in round one or two.

  • Josh Dugan (ankle, round 1)
  • Toby Rudolf (leg, round 1)
  • Aiden Tolman (leg, round 1)
  • Royce Hunt (knee, round 1-2)
  • Siosifa Talakai (shoulder, round 1-3)
  • Shaun Johnson (Achilles, round 5-8)
  • Jack A Williams (throat, indefinite)
  • Bronson Xerri (stood down)

Gold Coast Titans

  • Sam McIntyre (foot, round 1)

Manly Sea Eagles

Several players including Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran were left out of the club's trial against Wests Tigers but will be available for round one selection, as will Cade Cust, who injured his thumb in that game but has been cleared of a break.

  • Cade Cust (thumb, round 1)
  • Lachlan Croker (hamstring, round 1)
  • Dylan Walker (foot, round 1)
  • Kieran Foran (pectoral, round 1)
  • Tom Trbojevic (hamstring, round 4)
  • Jorge Taufua (Achilles, April)
  • Manase Fainu (stood down)

Melbourne Storm

Harry Grant suffered a medial ligament injury in Saturday's trial win over Newcastle and won't be available until at least round four.

  • Brenko Lee (hamstring, round 1)
  • Dale Finucane (calf, round 5)
  • Harry Grant (knee, round 4)

Newcastle Knights

Edrick Lee has been ruled out of the season opener against the Bulldogs but Hymel Hunt (hamstring) should be available for round one selection.

Blake Green has passed the six-month barrier in his return from a knee reconstruction but is yet to receive the all-clear to return to the field.

  • Hymel Hunt (hamstring, round 1)
  • Kalyn Ponga (shoulder, rounds 1-4)
  • Edrick Lee (foot, rounds 1-4)
  • Blake Green (knee, rounds 5-8)
  • Lachlan Fitzgibbon (shoulder, indefinite)
  • Jirah Momoisea (Achilles, indefinite)

North Queensland Cowboys

  • Josh McGuire (hamstring, round 1)
  • Jordan McLean (hamstring, round 1)
  • Kane Bradley (shoulder, round 4)
  • Tom Gilbert (broken fibula, early rounds)

Parramatta Eels

  • Marata Niukore (suspended, round 2)
  • Bryce Cartwright (broken jaw, early rounds)
  • Michael Oldfield (knee, round 4)
  • Michael Jennings (stood down)

Yeo and Cleary ready to lead young cubs

Penrith Panthers

New recruit Scott Sorensen missed the club's trial against Parramatta with a slight hamstring issue but should be available for the season opener on March 13.

  • Scott Sorensen (hamstring, round 1)

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Rabbitohs youngster Blake Taaffe suffered an ankle injury in Saturday's win over the Dragons.

  • Jai Arrow (hamstring, round 1)
  • Taane Milne (knee, rounds 1-4)
  • Braidon Burns (knee, indefinite)
  • Brock Gardner (Achilles, indefinite)
  • Blake Taaffe (ankle, TBC)

St George Illawarra Dragons

Jordan Pereira and Poasa Faamausili left the field following head knocks in Saturday's Charity Shield against Souths in Mudgee.

  • Billy Brittain (shoulder, round 1)
  • Cameron McInnes (knee, season)
  • Jack de Belin (stood down)
  • Jordan Pereira (HIA, round 1)
  • Poasa Faamausili (HIA, round 1)

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Sydney Roosters

  • Luke Keary (hamstring, round 1)
  • Victor Radley (knee, early rounds)
  • Sam Verrills (knee, early rounds)
  • Billy Smith (shoulder, mid-season)
  • Boyd Cordner (concussion, indefinite)


Wayde Egan suffered an elbow injury in Saturday's trial against the Titans.

Eliesa Katoa is in doubt for round one after fracturing his eye socket in a training ground collision.

  • Chanel Harris-Tavita (quadriceps, round 1)
  • David Fusitu'a (minor knock, round 1)
  • Jackson Frei (knee, round 1)
  • Eliesa Katoa (eye-socket, round 1-2)
  • Wayde Egan (elbow, round 2-3)
  • Karl Lawton (Achilles, late season)

Wests Tigers

  • Moses Mbye (hamstring, round 1)
  • Adam Doueihi (suspended, round 2)
  • Zane Musgrove (suspended, round 3)
  • Billy Walters (knee, indefinite)
  • Shawn Blore (wrist, round 6-8)