The Bunnies will be without skipper Adam Reynolds, NSW forward Cameron Murray, outside-back Campbell Graham and winger Jaxson Paulo for a prolonged period, opening up several shifts and opportunities for Wayne Bennett’s depth. Cody Walker is likely to hand the No.1 jumper to Alex Johnston, with Walker joining Benji Marshall in the halves. The wings are tipped to be occupied by Taane Milne and Steven Marsters, while Jacob Host will start on the edge as Keaon Koloamatangi takes the lock role in Murray’s absence.
Harry Grant will need to prove his fitness this week after battling hand and sternum setbacks against Cronulla, while superstar fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen is unlikely to make his return. The Storm will welcome back Nelson Asofa-Solomona and George Jennings, who were both ruled out last week due to concussion. Their inclusions will mean that local debutant Dean Ieremia will return to the reserves this weekend.
Star prop James Fisher-Harris is battling a hamstring injury and is in some doubt to be named for Ivan Cleary’s side, while fellow forward Kurt Capewell is also out to prove his fitness with a rib injury. Their potential absences would likely open opportunities for Liam Martin and Matt Eisenhuth to start and Mitch Kenny and Scott Sorenson to come into the 17.
The Sharks could see Jesse Ramien and Matt Moylan return from injuries, but the pair are still out to prove their fitness. Wade Graham’s latest concussion scare shouldn’t place the veteran forward out of the side after passing a HIA last week. Braden Hamlin-Uele will miss with an ankle injury, with Franklin Pele tipped to take his place.
The Eel’s forward structure faces a shuffle as Nathan Brown is sidelined with a hip injury, meaning Shaun Lane will likely take his place in the No.13 jumper. Recruit Wiremu Greig could be the one to make his way into the 17, as Ryan Matterson and Isaiah Papali’i hold their spots at either edge. Waqa Blake is yet to prove his fitness this week but could be in line for a return from a calf injury.
ACL injuries to Brett Morris and Lindsay Collins further plague the Roosters’ casualty ward, as the pair will miss the remainder of the 2021 season. While the Chooks will be without Sitili Tupouniua through suspension, they will welcome the return of James Tedesco, who will push Joey Manu out of the No.1 jersey and into the centres in place of Morris. Bench opportunities will open up for Fletcher Baker, Egan Butcher and Daniel Fifita.
Ricky Stuart could be tempted to make further shuffles after another disappointing performance last weekend. Questions remain whether Josh Papalii, Josh Hodgson and George Williams will return to face the Knights in Round 9, while Sebastian Kris is also in doubt to feature with an ankle injury. Joseph Tapine could be the latest to face the axe, while Sam Williams could make a return.
An injury cloud hovers over Blake Green, who is battling a rib injury sustained last week. Edrick Lee is set to feature for the first time this season after battling a foot setback, while Tex Hoy is likely to come into the side after making his return from injury via the reserves alongside Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
Tommy Talau is set to miss after collecting a suspension for a shoulder charge offence in last week’s win over the Saints. Zac Cini will likely hold his place on the wing, with James Roberts tipped to remain sidelined despite being a late out in Round 8.
Corey Thompson will miss the next two months with a syndesmosis injury sustained in the loss to the Broncos, but the Titans will welcome back Tino Fa’asuamaleui from suspension. Phillip Sami and AJ Brimson will be out to prove their fitness prior to the match, with the pair battling ankle injuries themselves. Absences could open up the opportunity for Greg Mahzhew to make his club debut for the Titans.
Mitch Dunn will be welcomed back after serving his one-game ban, while Ben Hampton is likely to miss with a pectoral injury sustained last weekend. Shane Wright will also be out to prove his fitness after requiring a HIA, which he passed.
Likely to see Kevin Walters stick with his new halves pairing of Anthony Milford and Tyson Gamble, with the only change from their win over the Titans likely to come with Alex Glenn being a possible inclusion after battling a calf injury.
Martin Taupau (concussion) and Morgan Harper (knee) are in doubt to feature this weekend after setbacks in Round 8. Curtis Sironen and Moses Suli are in the frame for a return from injuries of their own, while Reuben Garrick should overcome a knock from last weekend.
Ben Murdoch-Masila will need to prove his fitness after battling a head knock last week. Half Chanel Harris-Tavita could make his return from injury, while Euan Aitken is also knocking on the door to make his comeback.
St George Illawarra vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Centre Zac Lomax is the big out for the Red V after suffering a thumb injury last week, while Cody Ramsey will need to pass fitness tests for a rib injury to be named. Josh Kerr is in a similar position after suffering a head knock. Opportunities may open up for young trio Mat Feagai, Shaun Sauni-Esau and Tyrell Sloane.