Broncos vs Eels
Jack Bird is set to miss the rest of the season after rupturing his ACL in the pre-season. It’s better news for Corey Oates, Brodie Croft Alex Glenn and Matt Lodge who all look set to return from injury in Round 3. David Fifita (knee surgery) and Tevita Pangai Jr will both be unavailable.
The Eels have one of the league’s healthier lists, with Reed Mahoney (foot) the only key player in doubt for Round 3, while Nathan Brown is suspended until Round 5.
Cowboys vs Titans
Michael Morgan is out after undergoing shoulder surgery but the Cowboys have plenty of depth in the halves to cover him. The skipper stands as the Cowboys’ only key out heading into Round 3.
Ryan James’ season-ending ACL injury is a massive blow for Gold Coast, while AJ Brimson is out indefinitely with a back issue. Tyrone Roberts will return from an ankle injury and Shannon Boyd could come back from shoulder surgery.
Roosters vs Rabbitohs
Josh Morris is set to play his first game for the Roosters after crossing from Cronulla and will fill the void left by Latrell Mitchell. Boyd Cordner will also come in after being rested in the opening two rounds. The Roosters are primed to bounce back from their 0-2 start o the season with a healthy list.
James Roberts will likely miss after checking into a rehabilitation centre, while Cody Walker is set to be suspended. Patrick Mago is the only unavailable forward for the Rabbitohs as he recovers from a pectoral injury.
Warriors vs Dragons
David Fusitu’a is likely to miss after being a late arrival into Australia.The Warriors’ forwards pack is where their true issues lie, with season-ending injuries to Jackson Frei and Bunty Afoa and Leeson Ah Mau and Nathaniel Roach expected to be out until mid-season.
Euan Aitken and Cameron McInnes are set to return for the Dragons and Matt Dufty will take over the fullback reigns from Zac Lomax. Jack de Belin continues to be in limbo under the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy.
Sharks vs Tigers
Cronulla will welcome back a number of ins, including Matt Moylan, Josh Dugan, Bronson Xerri, Chad Townsend and Briton Nikora. This will help offset the losses of Josh Morris (Roosters) and Cameron King (ACL).
Moses Mbye comes back from a knee injury and will take over Adam Doueihi at centre, who will shift to fullback. The return of Luke Brooks and Thomas Mikaele are also timely boosts for Michael Maguire’s side.
Storm vs Raiders
Paul Momirovski is set to boost Melbourne’s backline, with Marion Seve likely making way, while Brandon Smith has overcome a facial fracture. Remarkably, the Storm enter Round 3 with a completely healthy list.
The Raiders will be boosted by the return of Jordan Rapana following his stint in rugby union. John Bateman looks unlikely to overcome a a shoulder injury, but the Raiders, are otherwise in very good shape.
Panthers vs Knights
Nathan Cleary will miss two games following his social distancing TikTok scandal, with Matt Burton to replace him in the halves. Dylan Edwards and Kurt Capewell are set to return.
Kalyn Ponga will miss through suspension in a major blow for Newcastle, with Tex Hoy likely to fill the void at fullback. The Knights will also be without Jayden Brailey (knee) for the rest of the season. Bradman Best comes and Sione Mata’utia’ shape as big inclusions.
Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs
Manase Fainu remains stood down for Manly and Albert Hopoate is expected to be out until June. Taniela Paseka will return from an ankle injury.
The Bulldogs will welcome the sight of Kieran Foran in his long-awaited return from a shoulder injury. However, Joe Stimson (shoulder) is expected to miss most of the season and Chris Smith (knee) will likely be out until June.