NRL Late Mail: All the team news and changes for Magic Round

Wests Tigers will field an inexperienced backline against the Cowboys, while the Raiders have made a late change in a key position.

Wests Tigers coach Maihcael Maguire has had to shake-up his backline for the clash against the Cowboys.

Junior Pauga and Junior Tupou have beeen called up to play centre and wing respectively, while Ken Maumalo needs to pass concussion protocols before he can play.

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Junior Pauga will be among an experienced Tigers backline against the Cowboys. Picture: Albert Perez/Getty Images
Junior Pauga will be among an experienced Tigers backline against the Cowboys. Picture: Albert Perez/Getty Images



Sunday, 1.50pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane


1. Nicho Hynes, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Connor Tracey, 4. Siosifa Talakai, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Matt Moylan, 7. Braydon Trindall, 8. Toby Rudolf, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Aiden Tolman, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Teig Wilton, 13. Dale Finucane

Bench: 14. Cameron McInnes, 15. Jack Williams, 16. Wade Graham 17. Royce Hunt

Reserves: 18. Mawene Hiroti, 19. Andrew Fifita,

Players cut: 20. Luke Metcalf, 21. Lachlan Miller, 22. Jayden Berrell, 23. Jesse Colquhoun, 24. Thomas Hazelton

Late Mail: I expect Cameron McInnes to again start at lock come game day, with Dale Finucane shifting to prop, and Aiden Tolman to the bench. Andrew Fifita is also expected to replace Royce Hunt on the bench come Sunday afternoon.


1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Matt Timokoi, 4. Sebastian Kis, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Matt Frawley, 7. Brad Schneider, 8. Josh Papalii, 14. Tom Starling, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Corey Harawira-Naera

Bench: 15. Ryan Sutton, 16. Xavier Savage, 17. Corey Horsburgh, 25. Zac Woolford

Reserves: 18. Harry Rushton, 19. Trey Mooney

Players cut: 9. Adam Elliott, 20. Sam Williams, 21. Peter Hola, 22. James Schiller, 23. Emre Guler, 24. Albert Hopoate

Late Mail: Tom Starling will start at hooker after Adam Elliott was ruled out. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstadd will overcome a serious cork to take his place in Magic Round. Xavier Savage is on the bench as cover, should Nicoll-Klokstadd have any troubles, he’d move to the wing, with Jordan Rapana deputising at fullback.

Cameron McInnes is expected to move to lock for the Sharks. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Cameron McInnes is expected to move to lock for the Sharks. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images


Sunday, 4.05pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane


1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Paul Momirovski, 4. Joey Manu, 5. Joseph Suaalii, 6. Sam Walker, 7. Luke Keary, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Connor Watson, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Sitili Tupouniua, 13. Victor Radley

Bench: 14. Drew Hutchison, 15. Fletcher Baker, 16. Nat Butcher, 17. Daniel Suluka-Fifita

Reserves: 18. Lachlan Lam, 19. Naufahu Whyte

Players cut: 20. Ben Marschke, 21. Ben Thomas, 22. Kevin Naiqama, 23. Adam Keighran, 24. Tukupa-Ke Hau Tapuha

Late Mail: Drew Hutchinson is likely to start at hooker for the opening period of the game, with Connor Watson to come off the bench at hooker on return from injury. Trent Robinson continues to shift his starting back-row on game day, with Angus Crichton, Sitili Tupouniua and Nat Butcher all having played off the bench at different stages of the season. Crichton has played four consecutive 80 minute matches and is likely to continue in that role.


1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Hayze Perham, 3. Will Penisini, 4. Tom Opacic, 5. Bailey Simonsson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Isaiah Papali’i, 13. Nathan Brown

Bench: 14. Makahesi Makatoa, 15. Ryan Matterson, 16. Oregon Kaufusi, 17. Bryce Cartwright

Reserves: 19. Jake Arthur, 20. Mitch Rein

Players cut: 18. Wiremu Greig, 21. Sean Russell, 22. Samuel Loizou, 23. Elie El-Zakhem, 24. Brendan Hands

Late Mail: No changes for the Eels.


Sunday, 6.25pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane


1. Starford To’a, 5. Ken Maumalo, 4. Luke Garner, 22. Junior Pauga, 23. Junior Tupou, 6. Luke Brooks, 7. Jackson Hastings, 8. James Tamou, 9. Jake Simpkin, 10. Zane Musgrove, 11. Kelma Tuilagi, 12. Luciano Leilua, 13. Joe Ofahengaue

Bench: 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Alex Twal, 16. Alex Seyfarth, 17. Stefano Utoikamanu

Reserves: 18. Jacob Liddle, 19. Jock Madden,

Players cut: 2. Asu Kepoa, 3. Oliver Gildart, 20. Thomas Mikaele, 21. Fa’amanu Brown. 24. Tuki Simpkins

Late Mail: Ken Maumalo must pass concussion protocols to take his part in the clash, with the eight-day turnaround between games to bolster his chances. With several backline casualties at the club, Junior Pauga is set to play his third NRL game at centre. However, the club may opt for the more experienced option of Tyrone Peachey to slot into the backline. Luciano Leilua will also need clearance to return from a hamstring injury, but he is expected to play. If ruled out, Alex Seyfarth would start in the back-row.


1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Valentine Holmes, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Tom Dearden, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Jordan McLean, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Reuben Cotter, 11. Tom Gilbert, 12. Jeremiah Nanai, 13. Jason Taumalolo

Bench: 14. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 15. Heilum Luki, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Griffin Neame

Reserves: 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 23. Ben Hampton

Players cut: 19. Jake Granville, 20. Connelly Lemuelu, 21. Ben Condon, 22. Emry Pere, 24. Brendan Elliot

Late Mail: No changes expected at the high-flying North Queensland Cowboys, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to again be injected late in the game off the bench.

Originally published as NRL Late Mail: All the team news and changes for Magic Round