You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Dragons forward Jack de Belin is set to play his first NRL match since the 2018 finals in Thursday's clash with Brisbane.

The former NSW representative, who made his comeback to rugby league in the NSW Cup last weekend after he had been out of the game as he was facing serious criminal charges, is set to play for St George Illawarra off the bench.

De Belin took the field midway through the first half of the clash with Wests Magpies at Lidcombe Oval and showed in his 45-minute stint that he will quickly adjust to changes in the game since his last appearance on September 15, 2018.

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin said on Saturday he was pleased with what he saw from the 30-year-old but suggested it may be too soon to select him for the clash with the Broncos at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

However, the club confirmed to NRL.com on Monday night that de Belin was set to be picked to play on the bench to bolster the forward depth with Tariq Sims called into the NSW squad.

The Dragons have won only one of their past seven games, with the Broncos searching for win number four of the season. Kevin Walters' men have just one victory from their past nine.

The rundown

Team news

Dragons: The Dragons are 1-17. Matt Dufty (shoulder) and Josh Kerr (suspension) make timely returns and Jack de Belin has been named on the bench with Tariq Sims leaving a hole in the back row while on NSW duty.

With Dufty back on deck, Cody Ramsey shifts from fullback to wing while Mikaele Ravalawa's return from his second ban of the season sees Jordan Pereira drop out of the 17.

Brayden Wiliame slides in one to the centres, Jack Bird goes to the back row and Billy Burns has been omitted.

Jayden Sullivan and Pereira were the first two players cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off. Adam Clune was cut an hour before kick-off and Kaide Ellis is 18th man.

Goal-kicking centre Zac Lomax (thumb) is at least another week away from making his return.

The Dragons have won their past four games against the Broncos.

Broncos: The Broncos are 1-17. Halfback Tyson Gamble and prop Matt Lodge return from suspension in a welcome boost for coach Kevin Walters who has lost Payne Haas and Xavier Coates to Origin duty. 

With Coates out, rookie Selwyn Cobbo has been named to make his debut on the wing, while Tom Flegler has been moved to the front row to cover for Haas.

With Gamble back, Albert Kelly shifts from halfback to five-eighth and Anthony Milford has been dropped again.

Skipper Alex Glenn's return from a calf tendon tear suffered in round seven pushes Keenan Palasia to the interchange bench.

Dale Copley and Cory Paix were the first two players omitted from the squad on Wednesday. Tesi Niu was the last man cut on Thursday and Jordan Riki is 18th man.

The Broncos have not won at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium since 1998.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
    Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Jamayne Isaako
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Cody Ramsey
    Winger for Broncos is number 2 Selwyn Cobbo
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Brayden Wiliame
    Centre for Broncos is number 3 Herbie Farnworth
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Gerard Beale
    Centre for Broncos is number 4 Jesse Arthars
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
    Winger for Broncos is number 5 David Mead
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
    Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Albert Kelly
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Tyson Gamble

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
    Prop for Broncos is number 8 Matthew Lodge
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Jake Turpin
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
    Prop for Broncos is number 10 Thomas Flegler
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jack Bird
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Jackson Ford
    Lock for Broncos is number 13 John Asiata

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Talatau Amone
    Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Kobe Hetherington
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Poasa Faamausili
    Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Keenan Palasia
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
    Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Ethan Bullemor
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Jack De Belin
    Interchange for Broncos is number 17 TC Robati

Reserves

  • Reserve for Dragons is number 18 Kaide Ellis
    Reserve for Broncos is number 18 Jordan Riki

Match Officials

  • Referee: Matt Cecchin
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

Tyson Gamble v Ben Hunt: Gamble returns from suspension to pit his skills as a No.7 against a man who refined his at the Broncos. In fact the two "newbie" Broncos halves in Gamble and Albert Kelly take on two former Brisbane fan favourites in Hunt and five-eighth Corey Norman.

Throw in hooker Andrew McCullough against Jake Turpin and there's several Dragons spine members who would like to show their old club they've still got it. 

Stat attack

With Tariq Sims' charge-down in last week's Wests Tigers game, he now tops the NRL with three. It's a ploy not seen as much in NRL games any more but Sims has changed momentum in games with his smothers and his team-mates will be out to continue the trend by turning up the pressure on Tyson Gamble and Albert Kelly.

 

Head to NRL Pick'Em and get pickin’ to win a share of $1 million this week!