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Late mail: NRL round 1

Late mail: NRL round 1 Written by MARK ST JOHN , March 4, 2016

ALL the late ins and outs ahead of a jam packed round one of NRL action for 2016.

SEA EAGLES V BULLDOGS, Friday, 8:05pm at Brookvale Oval

Sea Eagles: Siosaia Vave is set to replace Feleti Mateo (ankle) on the bench. Brett Stewart will be given until an hour before kick off to prove he has overcome a hamstring injury, with Tom Trbojevic to move to fullback if Stewart is ruled out. Fabian Goodall or Halauafu Lavaka or Brayden Wiliame are contenders for Trbojevic’s wing. Hooking duo Matt Parcell (hamstring) and Apisai Koroisau (shoulder) are certain starters.

Bulldogs: Key stars Will Hopoate (knee), Moses Mbye (glute) and James Graham (concussion/ribs) have all been cleared to return from injuries and will start as named.

RAIDERS V PANTHERS, Saturday, 3:00pm at GIO Stadium

Raiders: No changes expected, with Blake Austin (shoulder) and Shaun Fensom (broken arm) cleared to take their places in the starting side.

Panthers: Elijah Taylor could drop off the bench and play NSW Cup this week, with James Fisher-Harris a chance of making his NRL debut. Matt Moylan (back) is aiming for round two or three.

TIGERS V WARRIORS, Saturday, 5:30pm at Campbelltown Stadium

Tigers: halfback Jack Littlejohn could start at hooker, which would force a reshuffle with Chris Lawrence starting at five-eighth, Mitchell Moses at halfback, Kyle Lovett starting in the second row and Manaia Cherrington starting on the bench.

Warriors: Star signing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (ribs) is right to debut for the Warriors following an injury in the final trial. Bodene Thompson and Jacob Lillyman will play despite missing the last warm-up match, meaning the Warriors will be unchanged from the side named on Tuesday.

COWBOYS V SHARKS, Saturday, 7:30pm at 1300 Smiles Stadium

Cowboys: No changes expected with the Cowboys to field the same side that won both the NRL Grand Final and the World Club Challenge.

Sharks: No changes expected with all players named injury free including 18th man Gerard Beale (hamstring).

ROOSTERS V RABBITOHS, Sunday, 4:00pm at Allianz Stadium

Roosters: Daniel Tupou (ankle) is in doubt, with English import Joe Burgess a chance to make his NRL debut. Shaun Kenny-Dowall is a certain starter following his court aquittal on Monday. Mitchell Pearce (disciplinary) has been suspended for eight weeks, with Jayden Nikorima his short term replacement in the halves.

Rabbitohs: No changes expected with Adam Reynolds (foot) a certain starter following an off-season injury.

TITANS V KNIGHTS, Sunday, 6:30pm at Cbus Super Stadium

Titans: Will Zillman (calf) is in doubt with David Mead set to play fullback if Zillman is out and John Olive or Leva Li on standby for the wing spot. Ashley Taylor (shoulder) and Josh Hoffman (knee) are right to go following pre-season injuries. Nene Macdonald (knee) is aiming for a return in round three.

Knights: Lachlan Fitzgibbon is likely to drop off the extended bench but their is the possibility the inexperienced Knights could field as many as six debutantes.

STORM V DRAGONS, Monday, 7:00pm at AAMI Park

Storm: Billy Slater (shoulder) is likely to play with Ben Hampton likely to drop off the bench and Nelson Asofa-Solomona a chance of joining the 17. Cameron Munster (knee) wasn’t named and is only a long shot of an early return on Monday.

Dragons: No changes expected.


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