NRL teams Round 12: Late Mail, predicted team changes for upcoming week

The Sharks are set to unleash a monster rookie prop against the Roosters, while the Rabbitohs welcome the shock early return for one of their biggest stars.

A towering prop-forward scouted by Cronulla legend Gavin Miller is set to make his NRL debut for the Sharks against the Roosters.

Thomas Hazelton

Tom Hazelton, 23, has received a first-grade call-up with Sharks captain Wade Graham unable to recover from a minor foot injury suffered last weekend against the Titans.

Standing at 113kg and 198cm - 6cm taller than Andrew Fifita - Hazelton has earned his NRL debut after progressing through the club’s SG Ball and NSW Cup system.

The former Goulburn Workers junior was spotted by Miller, while living in Goulburn.

In a fitting gesture, Miller - a Sharks immortal - presented Hazelton with his debut jersey on Friday.

Hazelton has scored two tries in eight games with 119 average run-metres for the Newtown Jets in the NSW Cup.

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The Sharks are set to hand 198cm tall rookie prop Thomas Hazelton his NRL debut. Picture: NRL Imagery.
The Sharks are set to hand 198cm tall rookie prop Thomas Hazelton his NRL debut. Picture: NRL Imagery.

SOUTHS’ MASSIVE BOOST, SPINE RESHUFFLE

The Rabbitohs - and NSW - have received a huge boost with Cameron Murray to return from shoulder surgery.

South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou confirmed Murray had proven his fitness and will play against the Wests Tigers on Saturday.

Prop forward Mark Nicholls will also return from injury to play.

“We need his experience out there on the field,” Demetriou said of Murray.

“He just does everything right and he’s a model professional.

“He had the surgery and was straight back into it the next day and giving himself every chance to play.

Souths are also set for a major position switch with Kodi Nikorima set to start at fullback in a major reshuffle. Nikorima, a natural half or hooker, will replace Blake Taafe who has been relegated to the interchange bench.

Cameron Murray will make an early return from injury, around two weeks ahead of schedule. Picture: Getty Images.
Cameron Murray will make an early return from injury, around two weeks ahead of schedule. Picture: Getty Images.

GREEN LIGHT FOR HASTINGS

Jackson Hastings has been cleared to play for the Tigers in their all-important clash against the Rabbitohs.

In a major boost for the Tigers as they look to secure Michael Maguire’s job with a win, Hastings will take his spot in the side after proving his fitness in the captain’s run on Friday.

Hastings spent the week in a moon boot after sustaining a foot injury in last week’s clash against the Bulldogs and was at long odds to run out against the Rabbitohs.

But the star No.7 has been cleared to play after making it through the final hit-out.

EELS KEEP STAR ON ICE

Eels coach Brad Arthur has ruled out elevating Maika Sivo back into the NRL.

Arthur said at his press conference that Sivo would continue his road back from a serious knee injury in the NSW Cup this weekend.

CROKER’S CAREER AT CROSSROADS

The NRL career of Canberra stalwart Jarrod Croker is hanging by a thread after the veteran centre suffered a serious injury setback at his home in Canberra.

It’s believed Croker dislocated his shoulder on Tuesday night, ruling him out of Sunday’s clash against Parramatta.

It is the same shoulder that the luckless Croker injured back in round nine against the Canterbury Bulldogs, which was his first game for season 2022.

Croker avoided surgery back then and was named by coach Ricky Stuart to take on the Eels this weekend.

“Jarrod Croker will not play in the Raiders round 12 match against the Eels after dislocating his shoulder on Tuesday,” the Raiders said. “Croker was set to make his return to the field this weekend after injuring his shoulder against the Bulldogs in round nine.

“He will have scans in the coming days to determine the extent of the injury and see if it requires surgery.”

Stuart has a number of options to replace Croker including Sebastian Kris, who was named on the bench on Tuesday, and rising back James Schiller, who was on the extended reserves.

Jarrod Croker has a shoulder injury. Picture: Mark Nolan/Getty Images
Jarrod Croker has a shoulder injury. Picture: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

ROUND 12 LATE MAIL

WARRIORS (Aotearoa) v KNIGHTS (Awabakal)

Saturday, 3pm, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

Warriors

1. Reece Walsh, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3. Viliami Vailea, 4. Adam Pompey, 5. Marcelo Montoya, 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 9. Freddy Lussick, 10. Jazz Tevaga, 11. Euan Aitken, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Jack Murchie

Bench: 14. Taniela Otukolo, 15. Aaron Pene, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Eliesa Katoa

Reserves: 18. Jesse Arthars, 21. Dunamis Lui

Players cut: 20. Rocco Berry, 22. Daejarn Asi, 23. Pride Petterson-Robati, 23. Junior Ratuva, 24. Ronald Volkman, 25. Jackson Frei

Late Mail: A few changes are on the cards at the Warriors as they look to fill the vacant gap left by Matt Lodge and Addin Fonua-Blake in the front-row. Tohu Harris has been named on the edge, with Jack Murchie at lock, but this role is likely to switch on game day.

Jazz Tevaga may also start at hooker, pushing Freddy Lussick to the bench, with Bunty Afoa coming into the starting side at prop. Jesse Arthars is also lurking on the extended bench and will come into contention as a potential late centre switch.

Knights

1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Edrick Lee, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Enari Tuala, 5. Dominic Young, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Jake Clifford, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Chris Randall, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 13. Mitch Barnett

Bench: 14. Phoenix Crossland, 15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. Leo Thompson, 17. Mat Croker

Reserves: 18. Simi Sasagi, 20. Tex Hoy

Players cut: 19. Brodie Jones, 21. Sauaso Sue, 22. Pasami Saulo, 23. Krystian Mapapalangi, 24. Brayden Musgrove

Late Mail: No changes expected at Newcastle, with Phoenix Crossland to continue his bench role deputising for Chris Randall at hooker.

Jake Clifford will start at halfback for the Knights against the Warriors. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Jake Clifford will start at halfback for the Knights against the Warriors. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

RABBITOHS (Eora & Gadigal) v TIGERS (Dharawal & Eora)

Saturday, 5.30pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney

Rabbitohs

17. Kodi Nikorima, 2. Alex Johnston, 3. Jaxson Paulo, 4. Campbell Graham, 5. Taane Milne, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Lachlan Ilias, 8. Tevita Tatola, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Thomas Burgess, 11. Keaon Koloamatangi, 12. Jai Arrow, 24. Cameron Murray

Bench: 1. Blake Taaffe, 13. Hame Sele, 15. Mark Nicholls, 16. Siliva Havili,

Reserves: 18. Josh Mansour, 21. Shaquai Mitchell

Players cut: 14. Liam Knight, 19. Isaiah Tass, 20. Trent Peoples, 22. Dean Hawkins, 23. Izaac Thompson

Late Mail: There’s likely to be a few moving parts to this South Sydney outfit come game day. Cameron Murray will make an early return from injury, pushing Hame Sele back to the bench. Kodi Nikorima will takeover at fullback, with Blake Taaffe relegated to the bench. Both Tevita Tatola and Taane Milne failed HIAs in last week’s loss to the Raiders and must clear protocols to be available for selection. If unavailable on six day turnarounds, Isaiah Tass or Josh Mansour would come in for Milne.

Tigers

1. Daine Laurie, 2. Asu Kepaoa, 3. Starford To’a, 4. Brent Naden, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Luke Brooks, 7. Jackson Hastings, 8. James Tamou, 9. Jake Simpkin, 10. Zane Musgrove, 11. Luke Garner, 12. Luciano Leilua, 13. Joe Ofahengaue

Bench: 14. Kelma Tuilagi, , 16. Fa’amanu Brown, 17. Stefano Utoikamanu, 18. Alex Seyfarth

Reserves: 19. Jock Madden, 21. Tyrone Peachey

Players cut: 15. Alex Twal, 20. Jacob Liddle, 22. Fonua Pole, 23. Junior Tupou, 24. David Nofoaluma

Late Mail: Jackson Hastings remains in severe doubt for the clash with South Sydney having spent the week in a moon boot. While reportedly desperate to play, the club will be tempted to give him a rest with the bye next week. If ruled out, Jock Madden would join Luke Brooks in the halves, who also has to get through Friday’s captain’s run successfully to be cleared to return from a hamstring injury. Alex Twal has been ruled out, with Alex Seyfarth taking his spot on the bench. David Nofoaluma was been named on the extended bench, but remains sidelined after already missing three games due to conscussion.

Daine Laurie returns for the Tigers. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Daine Laurie returns for the Tigers. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

SHARKS (Dharawal & Gweagal) v ROOSTERS (Eora & Gadigal)

Saturday, 7.35pm, PointsBet Stadium, Cronulla

Sharks

1. Will Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Connor Tracey, 4. Siosifa Talakai, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Matt Moylan, 7. Nicho Hynes, 8. Toby Rudolf, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Royce Hunt, 11. Briton Nikora, 16. Teig Wilton, 13. Cameron McInnes

Bench: 14. Aiden Tolman, 15. Braydon Trindall, 17. Andrew Fifita, 19. Thomas Hazelton

Reserves: 18. Lachie Miller, 20. Mawene Hiroti

Players cut: 12. Wade Graham, 21. Kade Dykes, 22. Jesse Colquhoun, 23. Luke Metcalf, 24. Kayal Iro

Late Mail: Wade Graham has been ruled out with a foot injury, with Teig Wilton replacing him in the starting side and Thomas Hazelton set to make his NRL debut off the bench. Siosifa Talakai and Ronaldo Mulitalo remain in some doubt but are expected to play. However Mawene Hiroti would come into the side should either of them be ruled out.

Roosters

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. Drew Hutchison, 10. Lindsay Collins, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Nat Butcher 13. Siosiua Taukeiaho

Bench: 14. Connor Watson, 15. Fletcher Baker, 16. Sitili Tupouniua, 17. Terrell May

Reserves: 18. Lachlan Lam, 19. Egan Butcher

Players cut: 20. Ben Marschke, 21. Billy Smith, 22. Kevin Naiqama, 23. Adam Keighran, 24. Daniel Suluka-Fifita

Late Mail: Sitili Tupouniua returns from a concussion on the bench, however I expect him to start in the second-row, with Nat Butcher shifting to lock and Sio Siua Taukeiaho to the bench. Rather than his regular game day shenanigans, Trent Robinson has actually named Drew Hutchinson to start at hooker where he will play the first 25 minutes before being replaced by Connor Watson.

BULLDOGS (Dharug, Bidjigal/Bediagal) v DRAGONS (Dharawal & Yuin)

Sunday, 2pm, Belmore Sports Ground, Sydney

Bulldogs

1. Matt Dufty, 2. Jacob Kiraz, 3. Aaron Schoupp, 4. Jake Avreillo, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Matt Burton, 7. Kyle Flanagan, 8. Luke Thompson, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Corey Waddell, 12. Max King, 13. Josh Jackson

Bench: 14. Zach Dockar-Clay, 15. Tevita Pangai Jr, 16. Chris Patolo, 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Reserves: 25. Ava Seumanufagai, 19. Jackson Topine, 20. Brandon Wakeham, 21. Joe Stimson, 22. Declan Casey, 23. Jayden Okunbor, 24. Paul Alamoti

Players cut: To come

Late Mail: Impressive rookie and popular SuperCoach cheapie Jacob Kiraz has retained his place on the wing over Jayden Okunbor. While no major changes are expected, there may be a shift in the back-row with Max King named in the unfamiliar edge role, with Josh Jackson at lock and Tevita Pangai Jnr again on the bench. Raymond Faitala-Mariner played 25 minutes on return from injury and will be warmed into a staring edge role in coming weeks.

Dragons

1. Cody Ramsey, 2. Mathew Feagai, 3. Moses Suli, 4. Zac Lomax, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Talatau Amone, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Francis Molo, 9. Moses Mbye, 10. Blake Lawrie, 11. Jack Bird, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. Jack De Belin

Bench: 14. Andrew McCullough, 15. Aaron Woods, 16. Michael Molo, 17. Tyrell Fuimaono

Reserves: 18. Jack Gosiewski, 19. Tautau Moga, 20. Jayden Sullivan, 21. Tyrell Sloan, 22. Josh Kerr, 23. Jackson Ford, 24. Jaiyden Hunt

Players cut: To come

Late Mail: No changes expected at the Dragons.

Jamal Fogarty has been named to make his return for the Raiders. Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty Images
Jamal Fogarty has been named to make his return for the Raiders. Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty Images

RAIDERS (Ngunnawal & Wiradjuri) v EELS (Dharug & Burramattagal)

Sunday, 4.05pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra

Raiders

1. Xavier Savage, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (replacement TBC), 4. Matt Timoko, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Zac Woolford, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Adam Elliott

Bench: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Ryan Sutton, 16. Sebastian Kris, 17. Corey Horsburgh

Reserves: 18. Brad Schneider, 19. Harry Rushton, 20. James Schiller, 21. Corey Harawira-Naera, 22. Trey Mooney, 23. Emre Guler, 24. Matt Frawley

Players cut: To come

Late Mail: lub captain Jarrod Croker won’t return from injury as named having dislocated his shoulder reaching for the TV remote at home. The out of luck skipper is expected to be replaced at centre by Sebastian Kris, with Corey Harawira-Naera likely to be called up to the bench following a stint in NSW Cup last week. With Croker out and Brad Schneider dropped for the returning Jamal Fogarty, Jordan Rapana is likely to continue with the goalkicking duties. However, Fogarty may take over this role in coming rounds. Zac Woolford again starts at hooker where he will play the opening 25 minutes before being replaced by Tom Starling.

Eels

1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Waqa Blake, 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. Marata Niukore, 13. Isaiah Papali’i

Bench: 14. Makahesi Makatoa, 15. Ryan Matterson, 16. Oregon Kaufusi, 17. Nathan Brown

Reserves: 18. Bryce Cartwright, 19. Jake Arthur, 20. Mitch Rein, 21. Hayze Perham 22. Sean Russell, 23. Ky Rodwell, 24. Maika Sivo

Players cut: To come

Late Mail: No changes expected at the Eels, however following the Round 13 bye I do expect Maika Sivo to start on the wing, with either Tom Opacic or Bailey Simonsson dropping out of the 17.

Originally published as NRL teams Round 12: Late Mail, predicted team changes for upcoming week

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