In a week where many are burning their final trades, it’s not good reading to see Taylan May ruled out and others like Siosifa Talakai doubtful. 17 warm bodies might be a luxury depending on your run of luck.
As usual, this article will be finalised across Thursday evening and the updates across the round will be on Twitter @AStilesAuthor
PANTHERS V STORM, THURSDAY 7:50PM
PANTHERS: Taylan May has been ruled out with a shoulder injury that NRL Physio estimates could keep him out between 2-4 weeks. Not good news for holders running low on trades. Sunia Turuva has been promoted from bench to the wing and Robert Jennings joins the bench in his place. In positive news for Penrith, Viliame Kikau returns on the edge in place of Chris Smith. Dylan Edwards looked gone for all money last week but he should suit up, with the issue being one of pain tolerance.
24 hours cuts: May, Smith, Falls
Final side: May, Edwards and Smith out. Kikau edge, Staines fullback, Turuva wing, Jennings bench; Hopgood 18th man
STORM: Not much doing here for the Storm, looking unchanged at this point however as usual they have been known to shuffle the forward pack on game day.
24 hour cuts: Ieremia, Jordan Grant, Howarth
Final side: Kamikamica edge, Brandon Smith lock, Eisenhuth/King bench; MacDonald 18th man
WARRIORS V BULLDOGS, FRIDAY 6:00PM
WARRIORS: Bunty Afoa shifts to lock, which sees Curran again relegated to a bench role. Jackson Frei also drops out of the 17 but has been retained on the extended bench, with Tom Ale taking his place on the interchange.
24 hour cuts: Sironen, Otukolo, Makatoa
BULLDOGS: The Bulldogs look pretty settled, expecting 1-17 here.
24 hour cuts: Biondi-Odo, Skelton, Makatoa
EELS V RABBITOHS, FRIDAY 7:55PM
EELS: Any time I see “Matterson” and “HIA” intertwined I get the shivers. The big unit survived the first team cut however Makahesi Makatoa is still on the extended bench as cover.
24 hour cuts: Simonsson, Rodwell, El-Zakhem
RABBITOHS: Lachlan Ilias will be ruled out with a back injury and replaced by Dean Hawkins.
24 hour cuts: Suluka-Fifita, Shaquai Mitchell, Mansour
ROOSTERS V COWBOYS, SATURDAY 3:00PM
ROOSTERS: Sam Verrills copped a head knock last week and is the main man in doubt here. 24 hour cuts will give us a clearer picture. Not expecting any other changes.
COWBOYS: Jordan McLean is set to return though NRL Physio has concerns for reinjury of his hamstring. Expecting 1-17. And Also, vale Paul Green. Gone far too early. RIP great man.
TIGERS V SHARKS, SATURDAY 5:30PM
TIGERS: Luke Garner is lurking on the extended bench as he tries to return from his neck/shoulder injury though with him Penrith bound he may be kept on the sidelines for the remaining month.
SHARKS: Siosifa Talakai is rumoured to be a late out here after failing to finish last round and is likely replaced by Matt Ikuvalu, thanks to @GEORGEFOTARAS for the leg up here. I mentioned last week that Royce Hunt was more likely to return this week based on Physio’s commentary so he could be a late inclusion.
BRONCOS V KNIGHTS, SATURDAY 7:35PM
BRONCOS: Brenko Lee sustained a leg injury at training and will be replaced by Delouise Hoeter.
KNIGHTS: Jacob Saifiti is another man who failed to finish last week with a head knock and will need to pass protocols. I know there are a lot of Edrick Lee fans out there based on the questions I see punters asking Barry Toohey, but unsure if he returns this week.
RAIDERS V DRAGONS, SUNDAY 2:00PM
RAIDERS: Xavier Savage was a late out last round but should be good to go, with no changes expected at Canberra.
DRAGONS: Cody Ramsey is lurking on the extended bench here and his inclusion would boost the Dragons and my draft side. Moses Mbye would go back to the bench here. No other changes expected, though the Dragons have taken a liking to the forward pack shuffles on game day as well.
TITANS V SEA EAGLES, SUNDAY 4:05PM
TITANS: Not much doing here, though I have seen some commentary about a potential Toby Sexton recall.
SEA EAGLES: Keiran Foran was another sub-80 minute man last weekend with an apparent hamstring injury, so assuming captain’s run is key here, though he’s being rated as OK to play on NRL.com