Storm v Broncos
Joe Stimson is in doubt for Craig Bellamy’s side, after not being named in the Storm’s provisional 21-man squad for Thursday’s opener at their fan day on Sunday. While that squad announcement isn’t official, it doesn’t bode well for the forward. Tui Kamikamica was named by Bellamy on Sunday despite picking up a knee injury against the Cowboys in the trial match.
Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold named a 17-man squad during the Broncos’ season launch, which saw youngster Tom Flegler named to make his debut against the Storm. Matt Gillett will play at lock, while Jaydn Su’A will partner Alex Glenn in the second row.
Knights v Sharks
Danny Levi looks set to line up at hooker, having just edged out Kurt Mann for the position. James Gavet and Tim Glasby are also set to start, after joining the club in the off-season.
Blayke Brailey could make his debut for the Sharks on Friday night, and if he does, he’ll line up alongside his brother Jayden who’ll wear the No. 9 jersey. Shaun Johnson will partner Chad Townsend in the halves, with Matt Moylan to drop to fullback.
Roosters v Rabbitohs
The Roosters will look to replace Dylan Napa with Lindsay Collins, while Brett Morris will also grab the No. 5 jersey after the vacant hole left by Blake Ferguson. Angus Crichton will debut for the Roosters, too.
Greg Inglis should line up for the Bunnies on Friday, as he continues to battle a knee complaint. Cameron Murray impressed in the Charity Shield and looks set to start at lock, while Tom Amone and Liam Knight have likely done enough for a bench spot.
Warriors v Bulldogs
Adam Keighran and Chanel Harris-Tevita are both fighting for the one spot in the halves alongside Blake Green, although it looks as though Keighran may just have edged his teammate so far this pre-season. Isaiah Papali’i looks to have done enough for a spot in the second row, while Issac Luke should start at hooker.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Corey Harawira-Naera have seemingly pushed Rhyse Martin out of the Dogs’ squad altogether, with Faitala-Mariner set to start in the second-row on Saturday. Nick Meaney is odds on to start the game at fullback.
Tigers v Sea Eagles
Tom Trbojevic will miss the Sea Eagles’ opening two matches, after suffering a hamstring injury during the trials. Brandan Elliot is set to be his replacement. Trent Hodkinson looks likely to beat out Kane Elgey for a spot alongside Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves. Kelepi Tanginoa and Taniela Paseka aren’t fit just yet, with Corey Waddell set to jump into their 17.
Cowboys v Dragons
Te Maire Martin and Jake Clifford look set to battle it out for the five-eighth jersey, with the winner to partner Michael Morgan against the Dragons. Nene Macdonald is set to start in round one despite not playing a trial, while Jordan Kahu is preparing to play at fullback.
Zac Lomax is expected to lose his spot in a huge move from coach Paul McGregor, with Fijian rookie Mikaele Ravalawa set to get his debut this weekend. Jack de Belin won’t play for the Dragons this weekend, with Tyson Frizell set to play at lock, meaning Jacob Host could come in and fill the void in the second row.
Panthers v Eels
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will make his return from a knee injury in round one, and will take the spot of his brother Malakai. Dean Whare should return from a broken arm, while Sione Katoa should start at hooker over Wayde Egan.
Peni Terepo won’t be available after being stood down following an alcohol-related incident. Dylan Brown should partner Mitchell Moses in the halves, while Marata Niukore is tipped to beat out Tepai Moeroa for a spot on the bench following the trial injury to Manu Ma’u.
Titans v Raiders
Tyrone Peachey could play in the centres on Sunday, but could also feature in the second row if Ryan James can’t take to the field with injury. Phillip Sami looks set to edge out Anthony Don for a spot on the wing, while Bryce Cartwright should be good enough for a spot on the bench.
Jordan Rapana’s injury is set to see Bayley Simonsson make his NRL debut with the Raiders, as he looks set to line up alongside Joseph Leilua. Michael Oldfield may also miss the clash, which helps Simonsson get his first start. John Bateman didn’t feature in any trial games, but seems poised to play at lock against Gold Coast.