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NRL Team Lists- Round 20

The Glory Bound Rounds are finally here! We’re on the home stretch to the Finals, and there are plenty of spots still up for grabs in the Top 8. We’re here again to preview every team, run you through the changes, and what they mean for your side as they look to grab the all-important competition points on the run to September.



Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium, 7:35pm

Bulldogs: Ben Barba, Steve Turner, Tim Lafai, Jamal Idris, Jonathan Wright, Ben Roberts, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Joel Romelo, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Andrew Ryan (c), Dene Halatau. Interchange: Greg Eastwood, Martin Taupau, David Stagg, Josh Reynolds.

Ins: Tim Lafai, Joel Romelo, Josh Reynolds

Outs: Josh Morris (NSW Cup), Kris Keating (elbow), Gary Warburton (NSW Cup)

Eels: Luke Burt, Etu Uaisele, Ryan Morgan, Ben Smith, Jordan Atkins, Jarryd Hayne, Casey McGuire, Tim Mannah, Matt Keating, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh (C), Taniela Lasalo, Justin Horo. Interchange:  Shane Shackleton, Mitchell Allgood, Reni Maitua, Pat O’Hanlon

Ins: None

Outs: None

Adrian Considers: New Bulldogs coach Jim Dymock has wielded the axe in his first full week in charge at the club, dropping Josh Morris and Gary Warburton, while Kris Keating misses the week through an injury sustained in the loss to the Warriors. Tim Lafai returns to the top grade to replace Morris, while Joel Romelo starts at hooker, and Josh Reynolds takes a spot on the bench. Former DT star David Stagg has been benched, with Wests Tigers Premiership winning Lock Dene Halatau taking his spot in the starting side. While there are no personnel changes for the Eels, there are a number of positional changes that have been made official. Jarryd Hayne moves to 5/8, partnering Casey McGuire in the halves. Luke Burt moves in from the wing to take the vacant Fullback role, and Etu Uaisele retains his spot on the wing. This set up has worked well for the Eels in the past few weeks- could we see a huge win against their long time rivals?



Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Stadium, 7:35pm

Storm: Billy Slater, Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Maurice Blair, Justin O’Neill, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Adam Blair, Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor. Interchange (from): Rory Kostjasyn, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Adam Woolnough, Jaiman Lowe, Todd Lowrie

Ins: Jaiman Lowe

Outs: None

Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (c), Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, Andrew McCullough, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange (from): Matt Gillett, Ben Hunt, Mitchell Dodds, Josh McGuire, Dunamis Lui

Ins: Scott Anderson

Outs: None

Matt Considers: A definite match of the round candidate, with two of Wayne Bennett’s former apprentices come face-to-face in this first versus fourth clash. Neither side has anyone missing, with Jaiman Lowe coming onto an extended bench for the Storm, and Scott Anderson joining the Broncos starting side, with Mitchell Dodds dropping back to the bench. While Cameron Smith has started the last two weeks off the bench, he is expected to start in the run-on side this week, with Ryan Hinchcliffe taking his place on the bench. This could be one of the match’s of the year at AAMI Stadium, and will be a big test for the young Broncos backs, who I believe are a chance of snatching this year’s premiership.




Gold Coast Titans v North Queensland Cowboys at Skilled Park, 5:30pm

Titans: Luke  Capewell, Steve Michaels, William Zillman, Clinton Toopi, David Mead, Beau Henry, Scott Prince (c), Luke Bailey (c), Matt Srama, Anthony Laffranchi, Bodene Thompson, Mark Minichiello, Greg Bird. Interchange: Matt White, Brenton Lawrence, Luke O’Dwyer, Preston Campbell

Ins: Beau Henry, Brenton Lawrence

Outs: Ashley Harrison (elbow), Michael Henderson (broken finger)

Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Willie Tonga, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Ray Thompson, Ben Jones, Matthew Scott (c), Aaron Payne, Ashton Sims, Gavin Cooper, Tariq Sims, Dallas Johnson. Interchange (from): James Segeyaro, Glenn Hall, Cory Paterson, James Tamou, Joel Riethmuller, Leeson Ah Mau

Ins: Ben Jones, Matthew Scott, Joel Reithmuller

Outs: Michael Morgan (Queensland Cup)

Adrian Considers: This match is a difficult one to pick. On the one hand, you would think that the side running 5th would easily deal with the team stuck at the bottom of the ladder, but the Titans are due for a win, and we are yet to see how Ben Jones plays at halfback with the Cowboys. That being said, the Titans are missing Ash Harrison, who is one of their key men. Beau Henry gets a start for his new club at 5/8, as Zillman pushes out into the centres. Bodene Thompson returns to the forwards, and Bird replaces Harrison at Lock. Brenton Lawrence made his FG debut in Round 16 against the Sharks, and is set to play his third game in the top grade, replacing Michael Henderson who misses with a broken finger. Probably the most notable inclusion for either side is Matt Scott, who is back to captain the side. Mature aged rookie Joel Riethmuller is back in the side, as part of a six-man bench.



Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval, 7:30pm

Tigers: Tim Moltzen, Lote Tuqiri, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, Beau Ryan, Benji Marshall, Robert Lui, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah, Keith Galloway, Liam  Fulton, Gareth Ellis, Chris Heighington. Interchange (from): Mark Flanagan, Mitch Brown, Aaron  Woods, Todd Payten, Andrew Fifita

Ins: Lote Tuqiri, Mark Flanagan, Todd Payten

Outs:  Sean Meaney (NSW Cup), Matt Groat (Toyota Cup)

Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Sam Perrett, Kane Linnett, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Todd Carney, Mitchell Pearce, Jason  Ryles, Jake Friend, Nate Myles, Braith  Anasta (c), Aidan Guerra, Frank Paul  Nuuausala. Interchange (from): Anthony Mitchell, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Brad Takairangi, Tinirau Arona, Tom Symonds

Ins: Anthony Minichiello, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Outs: Phil Graham (dropped)

Matt Considers: A couple of big ins for the Tigers, with their left side attack back to full strength after the return of Lote Tuqiri. Todd Payten also makes a return after pulling out late last week, and Mark Flanagan joins the bench after spending last week as 18th man. While there is some speculation Matt Utai could play (mainly as he was named in the Tigers official team, which was then retracted with Beau Ryan put in), he probably won’t make a return just yet. A big in for the Roosters as well, with Anthony Minichiello returning after Origin, and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves returning on an extended bench. The Tigers will be out for revenge after a second round loss this year, and the controversial epic in last year’s semi-finals, while the Roosters season seems over, despite being a mathematical chance. The Tigers returned to form last week, with a big win over the Cowboys, but the Roosters lost in extra time to Souths, which could leave them underdone for this week.



Cronulla Sharks v Newcastle Knights at Toyota Stadium, 7:30pm

Sharks: Nathan Gardner, John Williams, Ben Pomeroy, Colin  Best, Nathan  Stapleton, Wade Graham, Chad Townsend, Josh Cordoba, John Morris, Luke  Douglas, Jeremy  Smith, Anthony Tupou, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange (from): Kade Snowden, Sam Tagataese, Stuart Flanagan, Taulima Tautai, Johnny Mannah

Ins: John Williams, Stuart Flanagan, Johnny Mannah

Outs:  Matthew Wright (neck), Jayson Bukuya (ankle)

Knights: Kurt Gidley (c), James McManus, Tafeaga Junior Sa’u, Keith Lulia, Akuila Uate, Ryan Stig, Jarrod Mullen, Lisiate Richie Fa’aoso, Isaac De Gois, Antonio Kaufusi, Chris Houston, Nev Costigan, Joel Edwards. Interchange (from): Matt Hilder, Mark Taufua, Cameron Ciraldo, Dan Tolar, Steve Southern

Ins: Kurt Gidley, Matt Hilder, Mark Taufua

Outs: Wes Naiqama (tricep), Tyrone Roberts (Toyota Cup)

Matt Considers: This presents as a very interesting clash, with the Sharks hoping to re-gain some lost momentum after being convincingly beaten by the Dragons last week, but the Knights need to start winning to stay in finals contention. Both teams have some big ins, but they also have big name players under injury concerns. Paul Gallen is confident of overcoming a calf injury suffered in the Dragons loss, but the Sharks have lost Matthew Wright to a neck injury, and Jason Bukuya to an ankle injury. In Newcastle, Kurt Gidley is named to return from a hamstring injury, but still remains in doubt, while Wes Naiqama is out with a tricep injury and Tyrone Roberts drops back to the Toyota Cup. The Sharks should grab the points here, but a Knights victory is not out of the question if former and future Shark Isaac De Gois gets rolling off the Knights pack.




South Sydney Rabbitohs v New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium, 2:00pm

Rabbitohs: Rhys Wesser, Nathan Merritt, Dylan Farrell, Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen, John Sutton, Chris Sandow, Ben Ross, Issac Luke, Shannan McPherson, Jason Clark, Eddy Pettybourne, Michael Crocker (c). Interchange (from): Luke Burgess, Dave Tyrrell, Ben Lowe, Nathan Peats, Shaune Corrigan

Ins: Rhys Wesser

Outs: None

Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Joel Moon, Shaun Berrigan, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Russell Packer, Aaron Heremaia, Jacob Lillyman, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Micheal Luck. Interchange (from): Lance Hohaia, Sam Rapira, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor.

Ins: None

Outs: None

Adrian Considers: Only one change from the victorious Rabbitohs side, with Rhys Wesser returning at Fullback, pushing Merritt back to the wing and Corrigan to the five-man bench. As for the Warriors… well, this is highly unusual! Coach Ivan Cleary has named an unchanged line up. Yes, I’m as shocked as you are. Good to see both sides are settled (for now), with the numerous changes (both forced and unforced) hampering these sides throughout the season.



Penrith Panthers v Manly Sea Eagles at Centerbet Stadium, 3:00pm

Panthers: Lachlan Coote, David Simmons, Michael Jennings, Brad Tighe, Adrian Purtell, Travis Burns, Luke Walsh, Sam McKendry, Kevin Kingston, Petero Civoniceva (c), Trent Waterhouse, Nigel Plum, Luke Lewis. Interchange (from): Nafe Seluini, Dayne Weston, Nathan Smith, Tim Grant, Matthew Bell

Ins: Trent Waterhouse

Outs: None

Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Jamie Lyon (c), Steve Matai, Will Hopoate, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King (c), Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Joe Galuvao, Glenn Stewart. Interchange (from): Vic Mauro, Jamie Buhrer, Shane Rodney, George Rose, Tim Robinson, Darcy Lussick

Ins: Will Hopoate, Jason King, Tim Robinson

Outs: David Williams (dropped)

Adrian Considers: The Panthers will be a side full of confidence as they welcome the Sea Eagles to Centrebet Stadium on Sunday afternoon. After being a late scratching last week, Trent Waterhouse is back in the side, meaning the five-man bench is the go. Expect new Wests Tigers signing Matthew Bell to miss out. As for the other team, wow… it’s pretty hard to get a run at Manly these days! Will Hopoate returns after his injury in Origin II, meaning there is no place in the side for former Australian and NSW representative David Williams. Co-Captain Jason King returns to start in the front row, and Tim Robinson is part of a six-man bench. This match is set to be outstanding, one I am thoroughly anticipating!




Canberra Raiders v St George Illawarra Dragons at Canberra Stadium, 7:00pm

Raiders: Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, Danny Galea, Joel Thompson, Daniel Vidot, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, Brett White, Alan Tongue (c), Dane Tilse, Joe Picker, Bronson Harrison, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Glen Buttriss, Josh Miller, Trevor Thurling, Sam Mataora.

Ins: None

Outs: None

Dragons: Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper (c), Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien, Dan Hunt, Kyle Stanley, Michael Weyman, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh, Matt Prior. Interchange: Adam Cuthbertson, Jon Green, Trent Merrin, Mitch Rein

Ins: Kyle Stanley, Beau Scott

Outs: Jake Marketo (Illawarra A-Grade), David Gower (Illawarra A-Grade)

Matt Considers: The Dragons will travel to Canberra full of confidence after teaching the Sharks a footballing lesson on Monday night. They face their biggest bogey side, the Raiders, to whom they’ve lost 12 of the last 15 games between the two. In Canberra, the Dragons haven’t won since the turn of the century, but this year is a different story. Dean Young has been ruled out for a couple of weeks, replaced by Kyle Stanley, while Beau Scott is back in the side after overcoming a spleen injury. Late-call ups Jake Marketo and David Gower return to the Illawarra A-Grade comp after solid performances last week. For the Raiders, they are unchanged despite failing to trouble the scorers at home against the Storm last week. Either way, this is going to be an entertaining game.

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