The Round 21 teams are in, with big changes across spines around the competition dominating the talking points.

Here is all the analysis of Round 21 teams ahead of the round kicking off on Thursday.

All 16 Round 21 teams

Titans make huge call on Sexton as form woes continue
The Gold Coast Titans have won just three games this season, and with five rounds to play, coach Justin Holbrook has finally decided to pull the trigger on the misfiring Toby Sexton.

The coach has made a handful of changes to his spine at times throughout the year, mainly forced by injury, with AJ Brimson going back and forth between fullback and five-eighth thanks to Jayden Campbell's two sideline stints.

Campbell has been strong off the bench in the last fortnight though, and Holbrook saw it fit to get him back into the starting side.

With Brimson undroppable given his status in the team, and Tanah Boyd impressing over the last fortnight despite the results at five-eighth, the call has been made to send Sexton hurtling back to QLD Cup, and bring Brimson into five-eighth.

Given Sexton was the great hope of the new-look inexperienced spine at the start of the season, the call from Holbrook is almost an admission that it simply hasn't worked.

Disappointing as it is, the Titans must finish the season on the right foot if they want to avoid the spoon, and radical changes could be the only way to do so.

Young gun named for Sharks debut despite previous performance of rugby 7s convert
Lachlan Miller has had one NRL game since his switch from rugby union, and absolutely ripped the Gold Coast Titans to shreds as he filled in for William Kennedy.

The Rugby 7s convert ran for almost 300 metres, made nine tackle busts and scored a try in a performance which had him in the conversation to be a debutant man of the match.

It was thought that when news broke of William Kennedy's ankle injury this week, that he would slot straight into the side without so much as a question.

However, he has been shuffled out of position for Newtown in the NSW Cup recently by Kade Dykes, and it now appears there was a reason for doing so, with the young gun jumping the queue to play this weekend.

He has been at fullback for each of his last two games - wins against Parramatta and North Sydney - scoring a try in each game, having played in the halves during the previous weeks.

He missed Saturday's game in the Cup, but will turn out for his NRL debut this weekend. He is a special talent, so no matter the oddity of the call to leave Miller out, this will be one to watch.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: William Kennedy of the Sharks celebrates victory during the round 14 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, on June 11, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

A one-off forced experiment no more as Warriors make big spine call
The New Zealand Warriors were forced out of sheer necessity to play Wayde Egan at five-eighth during last week's loss on home soil to the Melbourne Storm.

That necessity doesn't exist anymore, with Chanel Harris-Tavita able to be replaced in the halves by Daejarn Asi or others if the club had of gone that way.

However, they haven't, and Wayde Egan has been named in the halves alongside Shaun Johnson, with Freddy Lussick to line up in the number nine jumper and Taniela Otukolo to come off the pine.

It's a huge call on Egan, who has re-signed with the club and is expected to be the long-term hooker.

This may be a one-off after the impressiveness of last week, but still will be one worth watching given how strong Egan ordinarily is at hooker, particularly in defence - an area the Warriors desperately need to keep improving.

Manly dump Schuster as five return
The Manly Sea Eagles have recalled all but two of their seven players who took the week off last week over the club's controversial pride jumper.

The two not to be recalled are Josh Aloiai and Josh Schuster.

Aloiai is battling an injury, and so him being left out for another week as he battles to recover is understandable.

Schuster, on the other hand, will pay the price for his horror show of form. With Ben Trbojevic now fit to return from concussion, it means there is no room for Josh Schuster in the side.

He has played poorly to say the least this year, and while on the surface it looks a big call from Des Hasler, it almost certainly isn't with Schuster not in the club's best 17 right now based on form.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 01: Josh Schuster of the Sea Eagles makes a break during the NRL trial match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on March 01, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

No Klemmer as Knights search for Best
The Knights surprisingly left David Klemmer out of this weekend's side, with it being confirmed by the club shortly afterwards that he had been issued a "show cause notice relating to on-field disciplinary matters in last Sunday's match."

The call for him to sit out this weekend's clash comes just 24 hours after it was floated by the media that Klemmer could have been a deadline day addition for the Parramatta Eels.

Ultimately, no move was made with Knights' officials reportedly shutting down any idea of Klemmer shifting to the west of Sydney for the remainder of the season.

For what it's worth, Klemmer reportedly told The Newcastle Herald that he wasn't interested in leaving the Hunter-based club.

Meanwhile, the Knights also have Bradman Best returning from injury.

Penrith and Parramatta confirm plans to replace stars
The Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels have both lost star players for the next couple of weeks at the very least, and had big calls to make in replacing them.

Penrith have lost Nathan Cleary, who is out suspended until the start of the finals for that devastating dangerous throw on Dylan Brown last Friday.

Intriguingly, Jaeman Salmon has picked in the halves to partner Sean O'Sullivan, with Kurt Falls returning this week via the NSW Cup despite his two impressive performances earlier this season.

Parramatta faced a similar question.

The obvious solution was always going to be Jakob Arthur, but he has struggled in the NRL, and his own club's fans have had just about enough of watching him play.

It means Clint Gutherson was spotted training in the halves on Tuesday, and while he hasn't been named, Brad Arthur would still spring a surprising tactical swap during the game, even if it isn't named that way an hour before kick-off.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: Jakob Arthur of Parramatta runs the ball during the NRL trial match between the Parramatta Eels and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on February 18, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

A Queensland star returns as Broncos fiddle with combinations
The Brisbane Broncos will finally be able to welcome back Selwyn Cobbo for Round 21, having been on the sidelines since a devastating concussion event in State of Origin Game 3.

He will come straight back into the side for Delouise Hoeter in what is a huge boost for Kevin Walters' side, who suffered a shock loss to the Wests Tigers last weekend at home.

Cobbo is an excellent front-runner, although exactly what he provides when his team are under the pump still remains to be proven. Still, his talents far outweigh any negatives, and he will be critical for Brisbane in the run to the finals.

On the other foot, the club who also lose Patrick Carrigan this week, have decided to recall Jake Turpin, who takes the spot of Cory Paix on the interchange bench.

The number nine jersey is one that coach Walters has battled with all season, with Billy Walters and Paix seemingly locked in for the race to the finals. That has now been overthrown though with the return of the experienced Turpin, who is still off-contract at the end of the season and unclear where he will be playing his football in 2023.