NRL: Jackson Hastings returns, George Burgess back & Gildart dropped

Jackson Hastings Wests Tigers PA
Jackson Hastings in action for the Tigers

Former Salford and Wigan half-back Jackson Hastings returns at halfback for Wests Tigers after serving a three-game suspension.

Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys (Thursday, 10:50am, Sky Sports Action & Watch NRL)

Elliott Whitehead Canberra Raiders PA
Elliott Whitehead in action for Canberra

Elliott Whitehead switches from loose-forward to second-row for Canberra as Ryan Sutton makes his second appearance of the season after making the move back up from the NSW Cup last week.

Meanwhile, young gun Xavier Savage has been added to the bench and Jarrod Croker edges closer to his return after being included on the extended bench.

Raiders: Nicoll-Klokstad; Cotric, Timoko, Valemei, Rapana; Wighton, Schneider; Papali, Starling, Tapine, Harawira-Naera, Whitehead, Sutton. Subs: Savage, Guler, Elliott, Horsburgh.

Cowboys: Drinkwater; Feldt, Holmes, Hiku, Taulagi; Dearden, Townsend; McLean, Robson, Hess, Gilbert, Nanai, Taumalolo. Subs: Granville, Luki, Cotter, Lemuelu.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs (Friday, 7am, Sky Sports Action & Watch NRL)

Blake Taaffe is the new man at full-back for the Rabbitohs with Latrell Mitchell set to miss time with a hamstring tear. Tom Burgess again starts in the front-row after a great performance last week.

Luke Thompson again starts at prop for Canterbury while former Leeds forward Ava Seumanufagai has been included on the extended bench.

Rabbitohs: Taaffe; Johnston, Milne, Graham, Mansour; Walker, Ilias; Tatola, Cook, T Burgess, Koloamatangi, Arrow, Murray. Subs: Sele, Host, Moale, Knight. 

Bulldogs: Dufty; Naden, Burns, Averillo, Addo-Carr; Burton, Flanagan; L Thompson, Marshall-King, Vaughan, Waddell, Pangai Jr, Jackson. Subs: Wakeham, Patolo, M King, Stimson. 

BLOW: Latrell Mitchell is a doubt for State of Origin opener

Penrith Panthers v Brisbane Broncos (Friday, 10:55am, Watch NRL)

Albert Kelly Brisbane Broncos PA
Albert Kelly in action for the Broncos

No Payne Haas for Brisbane after the NRL imposed sanctions on the prop forward for his involvement in an altercation with team-mate Albert Kelly. Corey Jensen is the new man in the front-row and partners Keenan Palasia. 

Panthers: Edwards; Staines, Tago, S Crichton, May; Luai, Cleary; Eisenhuth, Koroisau, Fisher-Harris, Kikau, Martin, Yeo. Subs: Kenny, Sorensen, Leniu, Salmon. 

Broncos: Niu; Oates, Staggs, Farnworth, Cobbo; Walters, Reynolds; Palasia, Turpin, Jensen, Capewell, Riki, K Hetherington. Subs: James, R Kennedy, Robati, Paix. 

BRONCOS: Albert Kelly and Payne Haas learn their fate after altercation

Manly Sea Eagles v Gold Coast Titans (Saturday, 8:30am, Watch NRL)

Morgan Harper (COVID) sits out for Manly, so Tolutau Koula comes in at centre after making his return from a calf injury himself.

Former Widnes outside back Corey Thompson drops out of the Titans matchday squad with Philip Sami moving to the wing and Brian Kelly marking his own return at centre.

Sea Eagles: Garrick; Saab, Parker, Koula, Tuipulotu; Foran, Cherry-Evans; Aloiai, Croker, Taupau, Olakau’atu, Davey, J Trbojevic. Subs: D Walker, Lawton, Keppie, Paseka. 

Titans: Isaako; Sami, Kelly, Herbert, Marzhew; Brimson, Sexton; Fotuaika, Clark, Liu, D Fifita, Fermor, Fa’asuamaleaui. Subs: W Smith, Lisone, Jolliffe, Wallace. 

Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks (Saturday, 10:35am, Watch NRL)

Veteran forward Aiden Tolman is back in the Cronulla squad and takes his place on the interchange after missing the game last week due to COVID.

Storm: Papenhuyzen; Meaney, R Smith, Olam, Coates; Munster, Hughes; J Bromwich, Grant, Asofa-Solomona, F Kaufusi, K Bromwich, J King. Subs: B Smith, Wishart, Loiero, Moeroa.

Sharks: W Kennedy, S Katoa, Ramien, Talakai, Mulitalo; Moylan, Hynes; Rudolf, Brailey, Hamlin-Uele, Nikora, Wilton, Finucane. Subs: Tolman, McInnes, Williams, A Fifita.

Sydney Roosters v New Zealand Warriors (Sunday, 5am, Watch NRL)

Sam Verrills is set to play his first game of the season for the Roosters after being named at hooker while former Leigh half-back Drew Hutchison drops down to the extended bench.

Roosters: Tedesco; Tupou, Momirovski, Manu, Naiqama; S Walker, Keary; Waerea-Hargreaves, Verrills, Collins, Butcher, Tupouniua, Radley. Subs: Watson, Baker, A Crichton, Taukeiaho.

Warriors: Walsh; Watene-Zelezniak, Arthars, Pompey, Kosi; Harris-Tavita, Johnson; Fonua-Blake, Egan, Lodge, Aitken, Sironen, Curran. Subs: Nikorima, Afoa, Pene, E Katoa.

STREWTH! Pitch invader gets wiped out as two NRL games interrupted

St George Illawarra Dragons v Newcastle Knights (Sunday, 7:05am, Watch NRL)

George Burgess is back in the Dragons matchday squad after being named on the bench while Josh McGuire also returns from a lengthy suspension to take his place on the interchange as well.

A huge boost for Newcastle sees David Klemmer (knee) make an early return from injury to start at prop while Edrick Lee will play his first game since 2020 after missing all of last year due to foot injuries. The former Queensland winger replaces Dom Young who misses out due to a knee injury.

Dragons: Mbye; Feagai, Suli, Lomax, Ravalawa; Bird, Hunt; Molo, McCullough, Kerr, Sims, Su’A, De Belin. Subs: Amone, Lawrie, McGuire, G Burgess.

Knights: Ponga; Lee, Gagai, Best, Tuala; Clifford, Clune; Klemmer, Randall, D Saifiti, Frizell, Jones, Mann. Subs: Crossland, J Saifiti, L Thompson, Sue.

Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers (Monday, 7am, Watch NRL)

Oliver Gildart Wests Tigers PA
Oliver Gildart in action for Wests Tigers

Michael Maguire has responded to his side’s 0-5 start to the season with plenty of changes. Jackson Hastings is back from a three-game suspension at scrum-half which pushes Jock Madden to the bench.

Starford To’a shifts to the wing for the Tigers with Daine Laurie back at full-back. Both Oliver Gildart and Ken Maumalo drop down to the extended bench with James Roberts taking the former’s spot at centre.

Eels: Gutherosn; Penisini, Opacic, Niukore, Simonsson; D Brown, Moses; Campbell-Gillard, Mahoney, O Kaufusi, Lane, Papali’I, N Brown. Subs: Makatoa, Matterson, Perham, Rein.

Tigers: Laurie; Nofoaluma, Roberts, Garner, To’a; Brooks, Jackson Hastings; Tamou, Simpkin, Musgrove, Tuilagi, Leilua, Ofahengaue. Subs: Madden, Twal, Mikaele, Seyfarth.

Jackson Hastings: I’d probably be in a sh*t place if it wasn’t for Salford

PLAY: Our free Fantasy Rugby League competition is back for 2022

About Zach Holland 295 Articles
Love Rugby League writer.

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