Corey Norman will line up for the Dragons in Saturday's Charity Shield as he prepares to appeal his NRL breach notice as several premiership heavyweights name full-strength trial squads.
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin will take 24 players to Mudgee for the annual clash with South Sydney, including Norman and fellow halves Adam Clune and Jayden Sullivan.
Hunt will captain the side for the first time as the club prepares to appeal Norman's two-match ban (one game suspended) and $20,000 fine for his part in a streetfight that also involved James Segeyaro.
The NRL is yet to receive a formal appeal from Norman and the Dragons, but the club is preparing to submit one in coming days. Regardless, he is free to play in the Charity Shield as his proposed suspension applies to NRL fixtures.
If Norman's ban is upheld Griffin will most likely look to Clune to replace him for their March 14 season opener, though youngster Sullivan is also highly rated at the joint-venture.
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The Rabbitohs will bring star recruits Jai Arrow, Josh Mansour and Benji Marshall off an extended bench for the clash, with Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker, Adam Reynolds and Cameron Murray all named to start.
Coach Wayne Bennett has previously indicated a preference to play Murray at lock as Arrow works his way back to full fitness from a hamstring issue.
Elsewhere, Mitchell Pearce returns from a broken thumb in his first game since giving up the Newcastle captaincy and beginning contract talks around what is expected to be a reduced one-year extension.
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Likely round one halves partner Kurt Mann won't play due to a family commitment, while Edrick Lee has fractured his foot and is expected to miss the first few rounds of the the Knights campaign.
Newcastle will line up against what is almost a full-strength Storm side, with only Queensland Origin centre Brenko Lee sitting out due to a slight hamstring issue.
Victorian junior Dean Iermia gets a crack at replacing Suliasi Vunivalu vacant wing as Reimis Smith shifts in-field to cover for Lee, who is expected to be fully fit again for round one.
Up north new Cowboys coach Todd Payten has moved marquee man Valentine Holmes to the wing as he continues to tinker with North Queensland's best 13, starting Scott Drinkwater at fullback against Brisbane.
Brodie Croft partners Tom Dearden in the halves for the Broncos with Anthony Milford still out with a broken hand.
Teenager Tesi Niu gets another crack at replacing Kotoni Staggs (ACL) at right centre, while Corey Oates has been named on the bench as he begins his shift from wing to back row.
The Titans have also named their star recruits David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui for their trial against the Warriors in Lismore.
As far as the Warriors are concerned, Chanel Harris-Tavita will miss out due to a minor niggle in his quad, with Sean O'Sullivan to see increased game time in his absence.
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Penrith have included Matt Burton in their first grade squad that takes on Parramatta along with Stephen Crichton, who returns from a niggling ankle injury.
Burton, Paul Momirovski and Tyrone May are all contenders to replace Brent Naden at right centre, with Naden named to turn out in reserve grade per Ivan Cleary's ruling last week that he won't be considered for NRL selection until at least round five.
Meanwhile, Canberra co-captain Josh Hodgson returns from his own knee reconstruction for his first game since last July, while Ryan James has also been named to make his comeback from injuries that have kept him out of NRL action for almost two years.
The Roosters will name their squad to face the Raiders on Wednesday, with the home side returning to their original Seiffert Oval base in Queanbeyan for the first time since 1989.
Prodigious young half Sam Walker, who has been touted for big things from the moment he signed with the Tricolours in late-2019, is expected to end his own 517-day wait to wear the red, white and blue with a hit-out off the bench.
Fellow teen sensation Joseph Suaalii is set to line up in the NSW Cup curtain raiser for feeder side North Sydney Bears, given he does not need an NRL exemption to play in the second-tier competition as a 17-year-old.