NRL Early Mail Round 12: Predicted team changes for upcoming round

The Sharks have received a double boost ahead of their clash with the Roosters, while Selwyn Cobbo missed training for the Broncos. Full predicted teams here.

The Sharks have received a double boost ahead of their clash with the Roosters.

Will Kennedy will return after a two-week suspension while hard-running centre Siosifa Talakai (ankle) has also been cleared of serious injury.

The duo will be named in Cronulla’s squad to face the Roosters at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday night.

Kennedy will slot straight back into the fullback role despite the stellar debut of Lachie Miller against the Titans last Sunday.

Miller is set to be named on Craig Fitzgibbon’s bench.

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Siosifa Talakai will be named despite an ankle injury (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Siosifa Talakai will be named despite an ankle injury (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

MURRAY TO BE NAMED

The Rabbitohs will name captain Cameron Murray to make his comeback — but won’t make a final call on his fitness until later in the week.

Murray is on the comeback trail from shoulder surgery and his return against the Wests Tigers would be earlier than expected.

The NSW Origin prospect trained lightly on Tuesday and is expected to increase his involvement through the week.

COBBO A NO-SHOW

The Broncos are confident Selwyn Cobbo will take on the Titans despite the teenage sensation failing to train today in the lead up to Friday night’s derby at Suncorp Stadium.

Cobbo was absent at Broncos training on Tuesday morning, raising concerns he could miss the Titans clash, which will double as an audition for a maiden Queensland Origin jumper.

The last time Cobbo missed training two weeks ago he was in court over some minor traffic offences which saw him disqualified from driving for six months.

It is understood Cobbo is not injured and instead attending to a personal family matter, with the Broncos expecting him to run out against the Titans as he chases a Maroons jumper after his sizzling start to the season.

The 19-year-old has seven tries from his past three games and is a red-hot contender to be picked for Queensland for his Origin debut in the series opener on June 8.

WIN FOR WESTS TIGERS

Wests Tigers could be in for a boost with Daine Laurie a chance of taking the field against South Sydney.

Speaking at the NRL’s indigenous round launch, Tigers teammate Tyrone Peachey suggested Laurie is set to be named in Maguire’s side to take on the Rabbitohs.

Laurie suffered a MCL injury against Saturday’s opponents back in round 7 and will need to pass a fitness test later in the week. If Laurie is cleared to return, Starford Toa will make way at fullback.

THREE SUPERCOACH STARS IN DOUBT

It’s back to the drawing board with four KFC SuperCoach stars either out or in doubt for Round 12.

Tom Trbojevic (shoulder) is out for the season and Jason Taumalolo (knee) will miss a week. Jackson Hastings (leg) is in doubt.

The spate of injuries comes just at the wrong time for KFC SuperCoaches given the first bye looms next week in Round 13.

Read on for full predicted team changes.

Jason Taumalolo down injured on the weekend (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Jason Taumalolo down injured on the weekend (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

RAIDER YOUNG GUN’S STOCKS RISE, BUNNIES KEY FORWARD TO RETURN

Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will miss one to two weeks after suffering a low grade hamstring tear.

Nicoll-Klokstad failed to finish the clash against the Rabbitohs last Sunday.

Boom youngster Xavier Savage or veteran Jordan Rapana will start in his place.

Meanwhile, at South Sydney, the Rabbitohs are confident veteran prop Mark Nicholls will return from injury.

Nicholls has not played since round four. – Michael Carayannis

SIVO EDGES CLOSER TO RETURN

Blockbusting Parramatta winger Maika Sivo is edging closer to an NRL return but is likely to get another hit out in reserve grade as Parramatta face resurgent Canberra on Sunday.

Sivo made a successful return from an ACL injury through NSW Cup last Friday, scoring two tries in Parramatta’s win over Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.

Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma is set to miss another week with delayed concussion symptoms. Nofoaluma copped a head knock in round eight and has not taken part in any contact training since the hit.

Coach Michael Maguire will have Asu Kepaoa (Covid) back for Saturday’s clash with South Sydney while forward Thomas Mikaele has been released immediately to Super League club Warrington.

At Belmore, Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr has recovered from illness to give Canterbury a much-needed boost for Sunday’s clash with St George Illawarra.

Addo-Carr was floored by the flu and missed last Friday’s loss to Wests Tigers.

The flyer is expected to play against the Dragons as the Belmore club desperately tries to get off the bottom of the NRL ladder.

Maika Sivo makes a break in his NSW Cup return. NRL Imagery
Maika Sivo makes a break in his NSW Cup return. NRL Imagery

FIERY ROOSTER FINED OVER FOUL-MOUTHED SPRAY

Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is free to take on Cronulla after escaping suspension for an expletive-laden rant, while Josh Addo-Carr has recovered from illness to give Canterbury a much-needed boost.

Addo-Carr was floored by the flu and was ruled out of the last Friday’s clash against Wests Tigers, the side’s first game since Trent Barrett quit as coach.

The flyer is expected to take the field against St George Illawarra on Sunday as the Belmore club desperately tries to get off the bottom of the NRL ladder.

Veteran Tricolours prop Waerea-Hargreaves will line-up against the Sharks on Saturday night after he was slapped with a grade one contrary conduct charge and fined $1800 for a blow up aimed at referee Gerard Sutton in the Roosters’ loss to Penrith.

But Waerea-Hargreaves was not charged for the tackle on Panthers prop James Fisher-Harris which led to Penrith being awarded an eight-point try.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has words with referee Gerard Sutton. Picture: Getty
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has words with referee Gerard Sutton. Picture: Getty

Waerea-Hargreaves took exception after he was called out by Sutton for collecting Fisher-Harris high as the Panthers forward strolled over to score a late try in the Roosters’ 32-12 loss to the premiers.

Waerea-Hargreaves was heard over the microphone telling Sutton he has been unfairly targeted and swearing during the incident.

“You take every opportunity you get to put me on report, don’t you reckon?” Waerea-Hargreaves said to Sutton.

“I’m just saying. Every time bro, every f***ing time. It’s not fair mate, I’m telling you.”

Sutton then sin binned Waerea-Hargreaves.

“No, no, no,” Waerea-Hargreaves protested as Roosters skipper James Tedesco ushered his teammate toward the sideline.

“Every f***ing time bro. Every time,” Waerea-Hargreaves protested while walking off the field.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson agreed Sutton was right to sin bin Waerea-Hargreaves for the foul language but questioned whether the shot from his veteran hardman warranted being put on report.

Trent Robinson defended Waerea-Hargreaves in his post-match press conference
Trent Robinson defended Waerea-Hargreaves in his post-match press conference

ROUND 12 EARLY MAIL

STORM v SEA EAGLES

Thursday, 7.50pm, AAMI Park, Melbourne

Storm: The likely return of Jahrome Hughes from a calf injury will create several changes to the squad. If cleared to return, Harry Grant would revert back to hooker and Brandon Smith likely to the bench. Nelson Asofa-Solomona is also pushing to return from a knee injury, if available, he’d start at prop, pushing Tui Kamikamica to the bench. Highly touted youngster Will Warbrick is dealing with a niggling injury, but will come into contention in place of Dean Ieremia on the wing when fully fit.

Sea Eagles: Devastating news of Tom Trbojevic’s lengthy stint on the sidelines will see Reuben Garrick shift to fullback, while Jason Saab is due back from injury and would slot in on the wing. Josh Schuster is likely to start in the back-row in place of Andrew Davey, but the club may take a cautious approach with his return and keep him to limited time off the bench for another week having played just 33 minutes against Parramatta.

PANTHERS v COWBOYS

Friday, 6pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith

Panthers: No changes expected at Penrith following a dominant victory over the Roosters.

Cowboys: Kyle Feldt is expected to miss six matches with an MCL injury, which would see Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow replace him on the wing. This is also likely to see Jake Granville return to the bench as the utility, cutting into Reece Robson’s minutes at hooker. Jason Taumalolo played limited minutes in the upset win over Melbourne due to a knee injury and will miss one week but be available for Round 13. If unavailable, Reuben Cotter would start at lock, having been a late benching last round.

BRONCOS v TITANS

Friday, 7.55pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Broncos: Adam Reynolds is pushing to return for the Queensland derby which would see Ezra Mam drop out of the squad.

Titans: David Fifita is listed to return for the Titans as he looks to push his final case for Origin selection. It’s likely he’d return in a bench role having spent a decent stint on the sidelines. Phillip Sami suffered a knee injury in the loss to the Sharks and is unlikely to face Brisbane. Brian Kelly played Queensland Cup on the weekend and is likely a straight replacement, however Patrick Herbert is also due back from a calf injury and may be the preferred option.

WARRIORS v KNIGHTS

Saturday, 3pm, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

Warriors: Addin Fonua-Blake suffered a foot injury late in the loss to the Dragons and may miss an extended period of action. With Matt Lodge having departed the club, this will leave the Warriors a little light on up front. Tohu Harris would likely start at prop, with Wayde Egan pushing to return from injury at hooker, shifting Jazz Tevaga to lock.

Chanel Harris-Tavita will come into contention for a starting halves role on return from injury, with Daejarn Asi likely to make way should Nathan Brown opt to change up his halves pairing. Josh Curran is also expected back in the next fortnight.

Knights: Bradman Best suffered an elbow injury and will miss an extended period, with either Enari Tuala or Simi Sasagi to come into the side at centre.

RABBITOHS v TIGERS

Saturday, 5.30pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney

Rabbitohs: Cameron Murray is pushing to make an early return from injury in a bid to prove his fitness ahead of the Origin series opener. Mark Nicholls is also expected to make his return from injury in another boost to the forward stocks. Tevita Tatola and Taane Milne both failed HIAs in the loss to the Raiders and are in doubt for the Tigers clash on a six day turnaround. Isaiah Tass would likely earn a call up if Milne failed to take his place, while Josh Mansour is another consideration.

Tigers: Plenty of movement at the Tigers once again following a win over the Bulldogs. Halfback Jackson Hastings is in serious doubt with a leg injury, while Jacob Liddle suffered a concussion and must pass protocols to take his part in the match. However with Jake Simpkin due back Liddle would likely drop out regardless. David Nofoaluma is due back from a concussion enforced stint on the sidelines and will take his place on the wing if cleared, with Junior Tupou to make way. Daine Laurie is also nearing a return from a knee injury, if cleared it’d see Starford Toa move to centre, with Tyrone Peachey shifting to the bench. Luke Brooks is an outside chance to return from a hamstring injury but isn’t expected back until Round 14 after the bye.

SHARKS v ROOSTERS

Saturday, 7.35pm, PointsBet Stadium, Cronulla

Sharks: Will Kennedy is due back from suspension which will see impressive debutant Lachlan Miller drop out of the team. Siosifa Talakai suffered an ankle injury but will be named.

Roosters: Sitili Tupouniua is due back from a concussion and is expected to start in the back-row, with Nat Butcher shifting to lock and Sio Siua Taukeiaho moving back to prop.

BULLDOGS v DRAGONS

Sunday, 2pm, Belmore Sports Ground, Sydney

Bulldogs: Josh Addo-Carr is likely to return from a bout of the flu on the wing. I’d expect impressive rookie Jacob Kiraz to retain his spot on the wing, with Jayden Okunbor dropping out of the team. Corey Waddell must pass concussion protocol following his Round 10 head knock. If cleared, he’d return on the edge, with Josh Jackson starting at lock. Tevita Pangai Jnr played off the bench in the win over the Tigers, whether this becomes a regular occurrence remains to be seen.

Dragons: No major changes expected at the Dragons following the win over the Warriors.

RAIDERS v EELS

Sunday, 4.05pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra

Raiders: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad suffered a hamstring injury in the impressive win over the Rabbitohs and is in doubt for the Eels clash. If unavailable, Jordan Rapana is likely to start at fullback, with Xavier Savage on the wing, however Ricky Stuart may inject Savage in the number one jumper. Matt Frawley was a late out due to illness, giving Stuart another tough decision to bring him back in or drop Brad Schneider. Jarrod Croker and Semi Valemei are both due back from injury in coming weeks but may struggle to crack the side following three consecutive wins.

Eels: No major changes expected, with Brad Arthur pulling a game day switch in the win over Manly of starting Marata Niukore on the edge, and Ryan Matterson reverting back to the bench. Maika Sivo starred in his return to NSW Cup and could make his NRL return from an ACL injury, but is set to be given another week.

Originally published as NRL Early Mail Round 12: Predicted team changes for upcoming round

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