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NRL Team Lists – Round 24

It is the Exercise Your Mood Round in support of mental health, but more importantly it is another of the Glory Bound Rounds, with now only 10 sides a realistic chance of making the finals. That could be cut to the final eight this week, and with some big ins and outs, the teams named will have a significant impact on that. Read on to get all the latest team news and expert views!


FRIDAY, August 19

South Sydney Rabbitohs v North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium, 7:35pm.

Rabbitohs: Nathan Merritt, Dylan Farrell, Shaune 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, Dave Tyrrell, Jason Clark, Nathan Peats

Ins: None

Outs: None

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, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange (from): James Segeyaro, Tariq Sims, Scott Bolton, Ashton Sims, Cory Paterson, Joel Riethmuller

Ins: Aaron Payne, Joel Riethmuller

Outs: None

Adrian Considers: The Rabbitohs are on a roll, and I couldn’t be happier! Nathan Merritt is on fire, they’re finally giving GI some early ball, Sutton is playing well… This is awesome. No changes, by the way. Just thought I’d inform you of my jubilation. The Cowboys are a top side in 2011, and welcome back Aaron Payne at no. 9. He could be the missing link that could spark a return to form in time for the finals. Mature aged rookie Joel Riethmuller is also added to an extended bench.

Melbourne Storm v St George Illawarra Dragons at AAMI Park, 7:35pm.

Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Dane Nielsen, Beau Champion, Anthony Quinn, Maurice Blair, Gareth Widdop, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Adam Blair, Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Troy Thompson, Jaiman Lowe

Ins: Beau Champion, Ryan Hinchcliffe

Outs: Justin O’Neill (back), Cooper Cronk (foot)

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 (from): Jon Green, Trent Merrin, Adam Cuthbertson, Dean Young, Kyle Stanley

Ins: Mark Gasnier

Outs: None

Matt Considers: What was being billed as the match of the year only a month ago, and the battle for the minor premiership mid-way through the season, has been dulled somewhat by injuries and form. The Storm have lost key half Cooper Cronk with a mid-foot injury until round 26, while the Dragons have been uncharacteristically flat for this time of year, losing four in a row, all of which they have led at half time. Gareth Widdop fills in for Cronk at halfback, with Maurice Blair going to five-eighth and Beau Champion coming into the centres. The only other change is the loss of Justin O’Neill for the remainder of the season with a back injury, with Ryan Hinchcliffe joining the bench in a re-shuffled back-line. The Dragons welcome back Mark Gasnier, who still hasn’t trained since last week with a hip complaint, but Kyle Stanley remains in the squad on standby. Jamie Soward is still hampered by a back injury as well, which may see him pull out late.


SATURDAY, August 20

Gold Coast Titans v Canberra Raiders at Skilled Park, 5:30pm.

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, Greg Bird. Interchange (from): Brenton Lawrence, Will Matthews, Bodene Thompson. Luke O’Dwyer, Clinton Toopi

Ins: Anthony Laffranchi

Outs: None

Raiders: David Milne, 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 (from): Michael Picker, Joe Picker, Josh Papalii , Sam Mataora, Jarrad  Kennedy

Ins: David Milne, Joe Picker, Jarrad Kennedy

Outs: Josh Dugan (groin), Josh Miller (collarbone)

Adrian Considers: Everyone loves a wooden spoon scrap, and this is very much the scenario here as these two sides battle it out on Saturday night. While the Raiders sit in 14th spot, they have a slightly worse points difference than the 15th placed Eels. A loss for either side would go a long way to giving them the spoon for 2011. The positive? They’ll hopefully put in, and we’ll have an entertaining game on our hands! The Titans welcome back Anthony Laffranchi, with verteran centre Clinton Toopi likely to drop off the bench. A big blow for the Raiders, who will be without star fullback Josh Dugan. Josh Miller is also out with a collarbone, which will likely end his time with the Raiders. He’s looking to return before the end of the season, but that is doubtful. Word is he is off to a rival club next year. Young fullback David Milne gets another shot in first grade, while Joe Picker and Jarrad Kennedy make up a five-man bench.

Sydney Roosters v Cronulla Sharks at Sydney Football Stadium, 7:30pm.

Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Sam Perrett, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Phil Graham, Braith  Anasta (c), Mitchell Pearce, Jason  Ryles, Jake Friend, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Brad Takairangi, Aidan Guerra, Boyd Cordner. Interchange (from): Anthony Mitchell, Mose Masoe, Tinirau Arona, Lama Tasi, Tom Symonds

Ins: Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Tom Symonds

Outs: Kane Linnett (knee)

Sharks: Nathan Gardner, Isaac  Gordon, Matthew Wright, Colin  Best, Nathan  Stapleton, Wade Graham, Chad Townsend, Kade Snowden, John Morris, Luke  Douglas, Jeremy  Smith, Sam Tagataese, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange (from): Anthony Tupou, Johnny Mannah, Paul Aiton, Tyson Frizell, Josh Cordoba

Ins: Isaac Gordon, Matthew Wright, Johnny Mannah, Tyson Frizell

Outs: Ricky Leutele (NSW Cup), Ben Pomeroy (NSW Cup), Jayson Bukuya (ankle)

Matt Considers: With Todd Carney, Nate Myles and Frank-Paul Nuuasaala still stood down by the club, they make only one change to the side that grabbed an inspiring win over the Dragons. Shaun Kenny-Dowall returns after pulling out late from the last game, replacing Kane Linnett, who is out for the season with a knee injury. Tom Symonds is also on an extended bench. For the Sharks, some big changes with Ricky Leutele and Ben Pomeroy dropped, replaced by Isaac Gordon and Matt Wright. Jayson Bukuya is also out of the season after a re-occurrence of an ankle injury, with Johnny Mannah and Tyson Frizell both in as cover. A big game for the Roosters who need to back up their spirited win last week, while the Sharks season is spiraling out of control, particularly badly after a bright four match winning streak.


Penrith Panthers v New Zealand Warriors at Centrebet Stadium, 7:30pm.

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

Ins: Michael Jennings, Travis Burns, Shane Elford

Outs: Ryan Walker (NSW Cup), Harry Siejka (dropped)

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, Lewis Brown

Ins: Lance Hohaia, Elijah Taylor, Lewis Brown

Outs: Ukuma Ta’ai (suspended), Pita Godinet (NSW Cup)

Adrian Considers: Jennings and Burns are some pretty handy inclusions, I’m sure you’ll agree. They’re back for the Panthers at fullback and 5/8 respectively, while Shane Elford is in jersey 18. Ryan Walker will be turning out for Windsor, while Harry Siejka will be doing… something. He hasn’t been named in the NSW Cup or NYC sides. Hmmm. A few changes for the Warriors- Hohaia returns, as does Elijah Taylor. Lewis Brown is yet again in jersey 18. Ukuma Ta’ai has been suspended, while Pita Godinet returns to the NSW Cup after tasting success in first grade. He’s a definite prospect for the future.


SUNDAY, August 21

Manly Sea Eagles v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Brookvale Oval, 2:00pm.

Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Jamie Lyon (c), Steve Matai, David Williams, 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: David Williams, Tim Robinson

Outs: Will Hopoate (hamstring)

Bulldogs: Ben Barba, Steve Turner, Josh Morris, Jamal Idris, Jono Wright, Kris Keating, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Josh Reynolds, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Andrew Ryan (c), Dene Halatau. Interchange: Greg Eastwood, Chris Armit, Joel Romelo, David Stagg

Ins: Chris Armit, Joel Romelo

Outs: Trent Cutler (NSW Cup), Mickey Paea (NSW Cup)

Matt Considers: A massive game for the Bulldogs, who’s finals chances hand by a thread at the moment. A loss here could effectively rule them out of contention, while Manly will be looking to return to the form that saw them demolish the Roosters two weeks ago after a scrappy win over the Eels. The Sea Eagles have lost Will Hopoate with a hamstring injury, but David Williams makes his return on the wing, with Tim Robinson added to an extended bench. For the Bulldogs, they have welcomed back Chris Armit from a calf injury and Joel Romelo from suspension, replacing Trent Cutler and Mickey Paea on the bench. Amazingly, Corey Payne remains on the outer despite being one of their best forwards in the first half of the year. Frank Prichard is also a big chance of missing the game, depending upon the result of a judiciary meeting, where he is contesting the grading of a grade three careless high tackle charge.


Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels at Sydney Football Stadium, 3:00pm.

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

Ins: None

Outs: None

Eels: Luke Burt, Ryan Morgan, Justin Horo, Ben Smith, Chris Hicks, 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: Justin Poore

Outs: Rory Brien (Toyota Cup)

Matt Considers: A big clash for the home side, who need to keep winning to finish as high as possible on the ladder. The Eels need to keep winning to stay away from the wooden spoon, but going off their form from the last two weeks, it is hard to see it happening. The Tigers are unchanged, with Lote Tuqiri still another week away with his quad injury. The Eels have Justin Poore cleared from a virus that made him have dizzy spells in the lead up to last week, with Rory Brien (who didn’t actually get on the field last week) going back to Toyota Cup.


MONDAY, August 22

Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos at Ausgrid Stadium, 7:00pm.

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

Ins: Matt Hilder

Outs: None

Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Dane Copley, 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: None

Outs: None

Adrian Considers: Just the one change for Rick Stone’s side, with Matt Hilder returning from a foot injury (just quietly, I don’t imagine having your face stepped on would help your chances of playing either, although that wasn’t an issue.) Keith Lulia looks set to drop off the bench.  The Broncos are unchanged, still missing rep stars Ben Hannant and Jharal Yow Yeh… Will they be right in time for the finals? Broncos fans everywhere will be hoping so.

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