Home > News > NRL Team Lists – Round 23

NRL Team Lists – Round 23

The competition is now really hotting up, with pretenders falling away, and contenders starting to step up. There are also some big changes with struggling teams, who are turning to young and untested players to try and get them out of their slumps. This week also represents the record-breaking 350th game for Darren Lockyer, as he finally tops the first grade matches list, so make sure you take a look at the changes before putting in tips or changes to Dream Team.



North Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos at Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7:35pm

Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Willie Tonga, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Ray Thompson, Johnathan Thurston (c), Matthew Scott (c), Aaron Payne, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Tariq Sims, Dallas Johnson. Interchange (from): James Segeyaro, Glenn Hall, Scott Bolton, Ashton Sims, Cory Paterson

Ins: Kalifa Faifai Loa, Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott

Outs: Will Tupou (Queensland Cup), Ben Jones (Queensland Cup)

Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (c), Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Matt Gillett, Ben Hunt, Ben Te’o, David Hala

Ins: David Hala

Outs: Ben Hannant (hip flexor)

Adrian Considers: Wow, how about these for some inclusions. Thurston, Scott and Faifai Loa. The big guns are back for the Cowboys, who will be looking to spoil Lockyer’s party. This match is also vital to the final make-up of the top eight, with a home final in the first week potentially up for grabs. Will Tupou and Ben Jones have done their job, and return to the Queensland Cup. While the stars return for North Queensland, the Broncos will be without Ben Hannant. Josh McGuire gets a run in the starting side, and David Hala takes a spot on the bench.

Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers at Centerbet Stadium, 7:35pm

Panthers: Michael Jennings, David Simmons, Brad Tighe, Junior Vai Vai, Adrian Purtell, Harry Seijka, Luke Walsh, Tim Grant, Nafe Seluini, Petero Civoniceva (c), Trent Waterhouse, Nigel Plum, Nathan Smith. Interchange: Kevin Kingston, Dayne Weston, Sam McKendry, Matthew Bell

Ins: Junior Vai Vai, Harry Siejka, Dayne Weston

Outs: Ryan Walker (NSW Cup), Luke Lewis (concussion), Masada Iosefa (NSW Cup)

Tigers: Tim Moltzen, Beau Ryan, Blake Ayshford, Mitch Brown, Matt Utai, Benji Marshall, Robert Lui, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah (c), Keith Galloway, Liam  Fulton, Gareth Ellis, Chris Heighington. Interchange: Wade McKinnon, Todd Payten, Matt Groat, Aaron  Woods

Ins: Mitch Brown

Outs: Chris Lawrence (hamstring)

Matt Considers: While the Panthers are only really an outside chance at finals football in 2011, this still shapes as an important clash for them, as Steve Georgallis takes on his boss for next year in Tim Sheens. The Tigers asserted themselves as contenders with a victory over the Dragons in a match of the year candidate last week, but lost Chris Lawrence in the process. That is there only change, with Mitch Brown coming into the centres after missing out last week. The Panthers have rung in the changes however, with Junior Vai Vai returning, pushing Michael Jennings to fullback, while Harry Siejka takes his place in the side at five-eighth replacing the injured Luke Lewis and Dayne Weston replaces Masda Iosefa on the bench. Nafe Seluini and Kevin Kingston have also swapped roles, Seluini getting the starting spot and Kingston dropped to the bench. Siejka is still in doubt, leaving Georgallis stranded for halves options but the move of Jennings to fullback is a more interesting proposition. The Tigers have spent part of this week in Kiama at an annual team camp leading into the finals, so it will be interesting to see what comes out of that.



New Zealand Warriors v Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium, 5:30pm

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): Pita Godinet, Sam Rapira, Ben Matulino, Ukuma Ta’ai, Lewis Brown

Ins: Joel Moon, Ukuma Ta’ai

Outs: Elijah Taylor (rested)

Knights: Kurt Gidley (c), James McManus, Junior Sa’u, Adam MacDougall, Akuila Uate, Ryan Stig, Jarrod Mullen, Evarn Tuimavave, Isaac De Gois, Antonio Kaufusi, Chris Houston, Neville Costigan, Joel Edwards. Interchange: Matt Hilder, Richie Fa’aoso, Cameron Ciraldo, Zane Tetevano

Ins: Richie Fa’aoso

Outs: Keith Lulia (dropped)

Adrian Considers: The Warriors welcome back Joel Moon after he missed last week due to an illness in the family. Ukuma Ta’ai also returns, giving Elijah Taylor the week off. This is a strong indication that Taylor is very much part of Cleary’s finals plans, and considering this is his first year in the top grade, could do with a rest. Lewis Brown has again been named in jersey 18, but considering he played last weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got another run. Only one unforced change for the Knights, as Richie Fa’aoso replaces Keith Lulia. Their squad seems to have settled, which is an excellent sign heading into the finals. They’ve laid on some big scores the last two rounds, but it’ll be much harder to replicate those performances in Auckland.


Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles at Parramatta Stadium, 7:30pm

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

Ins: : Jordan Atkins, Reni Maitua

Outs: Chris Hicks (dropped), Rory Brien (Toyota Cup)

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

Ins: Michael Robertson, Darcy Lussick, Tim Robinson

Outs: Michael Oldfield (NSW Cup), Jason King (pectoral)

Matt Considers: The Eels haven’t made any unforced changes despite their 56-6 loss to the Rabbitohs last week, with Reni Maitua named again, and expected to play despite a virus preventing him from playing the last two games, and Jordan Atkins returning in the place of Chris Hicks. They face a Manly side full of confidence, but who have lost Jason King for the rest of the season with a pectoral tear. Michael Robertson is expected to finally return, with Michael Oldfield in NSW Cup, while Darcy Lussick and Tim Robinson set to fight it out for the final bench spot. The Eels will need to turn it around quickly against rivals Manly, with a wooden spoon a distinct possibility if they can’t. Manly are still chasing the minor premiership, but are more focused on being in good shape for the finals, something last Sunday showed was definitely the case.


Gold Coast Titans v Melbourne Storm at Skilled Park, 7:30pm

Titans: Jordan Rankin, Steve Michaels, William Zillman, Dominique Peyroux, David Mead, Beau Henry, Preston Campbell, Luke Bailey (c), Matt Srama, Matt White, Anthony Laffranchi, Mark Minichiello, Luke O’Dwyer. Interchange (from): Brenton Lawrence, Will Matthews, Bodene Thompson, Clinton Toopi, Greg Bird

Ins: Clinton Toopi, Greg Bird

Outs: Scott Prince (broken arm)

Storm: Billy Slater, Justin O’Neill, Dane Nielsen, Maurice Blair, Anthony Quinn, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Adam Blair, Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor. Interchange: Beau Champion, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Atelea Vea, Jaiman Lowe

Ins: Jesse Bromwich

Outs: Adam Woolnough (Achilles)

Matt Considers: The Titans finally won a game against a full strength side last week, beating Cronulla at Shark Park but this task is a different one altogether. The Storm have won 10 in a row, and don’t seem like stopping now. They have made only one change, with Jesse Bromwich returning in the place of Adam Woolnough after pulling out late last week. The Titans have lost skipper and attacking lynchpin Scott Prince with a broken arm, replaced by Preston Campbell in the halves, but the bigger return for the Titans is Greg Bird on an extended bench. With Anthony Laffranchi in doubt with a cork, Bird will need to play for the Titans to be any chance this week.



Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs at Canberra Stadium, 2:00pm

Raiders: Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, Jarrod Croker, Joel Thompson, Reece Robinson, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, Brett White, Alan Tongue (c), David Shillington, Danny Galea, Bronson Harrison , Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Joe Picker, Josh Miller, Josh Papalii , Sam Mataora

Ins: Reece Robinson, Bronson Harrison, Sam Mataora

Outs: Daniel Vidot (compassionate leave – indefinite), Glen Buttriss (pectoral), Dane Tilse (quad)

Rabbitohs: Nathan Merritt, Dylan  Farrell, Shaun Corrigan, Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen , John Sutton, Chris Sandow, Ben Ross, Issac Luke, Shannan McPherson, Eddy Pettybourne, David Taylor, Michael Crocker (c). Interchange: Luke Burgess, David Tyrrell, Jason Clark, Nathan Peats

Ins: None

Outs: None

Adrian Considers: The Raiders are coming off a hiding at the hands of Newcastle, and have lost a few players. Vidot is out on compassionate leave, while Glen Buttriss’ season is over, after injurying his pec. This leaves the hooking stocks very bare, and if Tongue was to be injured, there aren’t that many who could replace him. Matt Orford has been floated as a possible dummy half, but he’s got injury concerns of his own. Dane Tilse is also out for the remainder of the season, which isn’t great news for the already injury-depleted club. They have been replaced by Reece Robinson, Bronson Harrison and Sam Mataora respectively. The Rabbitohs are still buzzing after their 50-point victory on Monday night, and head into the game knowing they’re capable of a win. No changes- why change a winning formula?


St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters at WIN Stadium, 3:00pm

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

Ins: None

Outs: None

Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Sam Perrett, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Phil Graham, Todd Carney, Mitchell Pearce, Jason  Ryles, Jake Friend, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Braith  Anasta (c), Aidan Guerra, Nate Myles. Interchange: Anthony Mitchell, Mose Masoe, Brad Takairangi, Lama Tasi

Ins: None

Outs: None

Matt Considers: Amazingly despite both getting beaten last week (granted the Dragons played their absolute best and were just outclassed by Benji Marshall and the Tigers), neither side has made a change. For the Dragons, Jamie Soward (back), Beau Scott (hamsting) and Michael Weyman (leg) will all be in doubt, but are expected to play. For the Roosters, they were not good enough for Manly last week, and there could be some issues regarding Todd Carney and Nate Myles in regard to a team policy on drinking, but we’ll leave that for another time. The Dragons should dominate the Roosters here, but I won’t be surprised if they pull out a big game to avoid a second wooden spoon in three seasons.



Cronulla Sharks v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Toyota Stadium, 7:00pm

Sharks: Nathan Gardner, Isaac  Gordon, Ben Pomeroy, Ricky Leutele, Nathan  Stapleton, Wade Graham, Chad Townsend, Kade Snowden, John Morris, Luke  Douglas, Jeremy  Smith, Jayson  Bukuya, Paul Gallen. Interchange (from): Anthony Tupou, Sam Tagataese, Albert Kelly, Colin  Best, Josh Cordoba

Ins: Nathan Gardner, Jason Bukuya, Albert Kelly, Colin Best

Outs: Matthew Wright (NSW Cup), Taulima Tautai (NSW Cup), Paul Aiton (NSW Cup)

Bulldogs: Ben Barba, Steve Turner, Josh Morris, Jamal Idris, Jonathon Wright, Ben  Roberts, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Josh Reynolds, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Andrew Ryan (c), Dene Halatau. Interchange: Greg Eastwood, Chris Armit, Corey Payne, Mickey Paea

Ins: Ben Roberts, Mickey Paea

Outs: Trent Cutler (NSW Cup), Joel Romelo (suspended)

Adrian Considers: Changes ahoy, as the Sharks look to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Titans. Gardner, Bukuya, Kelly and Best all return, as Matthew Wright, Taulima Tautai and Paul Aiton are all dropped to the NSW Cup. Interestingly, Kelly and Best have been named as part of an extended bench, while Chad Townsend and Ricky Leutele retain their spots in the starting 13. I get the feeling there could be a few late changes though, so be wary. The Bulldogs lose Joel Romelo to suspension, and Trent Cutler to the NSW Cup, but welcome back Ben Roberts and Mickey Paea, two experienced players who will certainly help their chances.

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