avril 23, 2024

AJ Brimson named at centre for Titans, Stephen Crichton set to make Bulldogs debut; Team news, injuries, suspensions

8 min read

The second week of NRL pre-season trials will be another opportunity for coaches to move closer towards selecting their teams for the season proper.

Shane Flanagan, Benji Marshall and Cameron Ciraldo all still have major decisions to make and will be looking for huge performances from some of their younger and more experienced stars in their second official hit-out. 

However, for the four teams heading to Las Vegas, they will be trotting out second-string line-ups this weekend as the players and staff head overseas for the season-opening double-header at Allegiant Stadium.

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Here’s all the team news for week two of NRL trials.

Friday, February 23

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Sydney Roosters (Belmore Oval, 6pm)

Jason Demetriou’s side will be hampered by unavailability in their second trial. (Getty)

Rabbitohs team list: 1. Braidon Burns 2. Leon Te Hau 3. Adam Christensen 4. Leonard Skelton 5. Jude Saldanha 6. Bayleigh Bentley-Hape 7. Jarrett Subloo 8. Brock Gray 9. Ryan Gray 10. Yileen Gordon 11. Maila Aluni-Chanfoon 12. Nicholas Halalilo 13. Matthew French 14. CJ Mundine 15. Cade Maloney 16. Chase Chapman 17. Tyson Hodge 18. Kaylen Miller 19. Noah Reed 20. Louis Grossemy 21. Aiden Doolan

Team news: A decimated lineup, with the only notable selection being Braidon Burns. Veteran clubman Yileen ‘Buddy’ Gordon will start at prop, while Anthony Mundine’s son CJ Mundine has been named on the bench. 

Roosters team list: 1. Callum Gromek 2. Alexander Young 3. Kyron Fekitoa 4. Ethan Clark-Wood 5. Turoa Williams 6. Coby Thomas 7. Joseph Whitikama Temara Taipari 8. Xavier Va’a 9. Tyler Moriarty 10. Dylan Napa 11. Corey Ross 12. Meli Nasau 13. Salesi Foketi 14. Benaiah Ioelu 15. Tayson Fakaosi 16. Zac Saddler 17. Taylor Losalu 18. Harrison McKeon 19. Sione Vaenuku 20. Alan Holten 21. Emery Jolliffe 22. Michael Coleman

Team news: Similar situation for the Chooks, with Dylan Napa the most experienced player in the squad this weekend. Alex Young – the brother of new recruit Dom – will line up on the wing, while the highly-touted Xavier Va’a starts at prop.

Cronulla Sharks vs Canterbury Bulldogs (Belmore Oval, 8pm)

Cameron McInnes will suit up for Cronulla again this weekend. (Getty)

Sharks team list: 1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Oregon Kaufusi 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Jack Williams 15. Jesse Colquhoun 16. Toby Rudolf 17. Thomas Hazelton 18. Tuku Hau Tapuha 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Kayal Iro 21. Billy Burns 22. Daniel Atkinson 23. Jayden Berrell 24. Niwhai Puru

Team news: Cronulla will welcome back halves Braydon Trindall and Nicho Hynes for this clash and look to be close to full-strength. Siosifa Talakai moves into the centres, with the promising Kayal Iro shafted to the reserves. 

Bulldogs team list: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Blake Wilson 3. Bronson Xerri 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Poasa Faamausili 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Jacob Preston 13. Jaeman Salmon 14. Kurt Mann 15. Samuel Hughes 16. Josh Curran 17. Kurtis Morrin 19. Kitione Kautoga 20. Eli Clark 21. Toby Sexton 22. Jeral Skelton 23. Joash Papali’i 24. Bailey Hayward 25. Bailey Biondi-odo

Team news: Blake Taaffe has been named to start at fullback, with star signing Stephen Crichton in the centres along with Bronson Xerri. Drew Hutchison will start at halfback once again, while Viliame Kikau is back on deck at second-row. Head of football Phil Gould has confirmed that Liam Knight will play a NSW Cup trial this weekend, while Jacob Kiraz is still recovering from an injury and was not considered.

Saturday, February 24

Melbourne Storm vs Newcastle Knights (Churchill Park, 1.45pm)

Ryan Papenhuyzen returned for the Melbourne Storm in the first week of NRL trials. (Getty)

Storm team list: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Nick Meaney 5. Xavier Coates 6. Jonah Pezet 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Kane Bradley 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Trent Loiero 14. Christian Welch 15. Joe Chan 16. Tristan Powell 17. Tyran Wishart 18. Keagan Russell-Smith 19. Dean Ieremia 20. Shawn Blore 21. Bronson Garlick 22. Young Tonumaipea 23. Lazarus Vaalepu 24. Jack Howarth

Team news: Very strong side named for Melbourne, with Jahrome Hughes in the No.7 jumper and Nick Meaney set to line up at centre. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Christian Welch and Cameron Munster are among the absentees for this trial. 

Knights team list: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Enari Tuala 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Dylan Lucas 13. Adam Elliott 14. Jack Cogger 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Kai Pearce-Paul 18. Thomas Cant 19. Riley Jones 20. David Armstrong 21. Will Pryce 22. Jed Cartwright 23. Brodie Jones 24. Thomas Jenkins 25. Fletcher Sharpe 26. Laitia Moceidreke 27. Fletcher Myers

Team news: Kalyn Ponga will suit up for the Knights this weekend in a full-strength starting side. Dylan Lucas looks set to nab a starting edge spot this season, while Leo Thompson starts at prop over Daniel Saifiti.

New Zealand Warriors vs Dolphins (Go Media Stadium, 3.45pm)

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been named for the Warriors. (Getty)

Warriors team list: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Tohu Harris 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Marata Niukore 16. Jazz Tevaga 17. Bunty Afoa 18. Dylan Walker 20. Tom Ale 21. Ali Leiataua 22. Adam Pompey 23. Te Maire Martin 24. Chanel Harris-Tavita 25. Jacob Laban

Team news: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is out due to injury, opening the door for Taine Tuaupiki to show his credentials at fullback. Luke Metcalf has got the nod to partner Shaun Johnson in the halves this weekend, while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will once again line up in the centres after an impressive return.

Dolphins team list: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Tesi Niu 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jack Bostock 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Thomas Flegler 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Euan Aitken 13. Tom Gilbert 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Valynce Te Whare 16. Jake Averillo 17. Kurt Donoghoe 18. Josh Kerr 19. Ray Stone 20. Kenny Bromwich 21. Connelly Lemuelu 22. Kodi Nikorima 23. Oryn Keeley 24. Jarrod Wallace

Team news: Tesi Niu will play centre, with new recruit Jake Averillo on the bench again. Wayne Bennett has named an extremely strong outfit for their second trial, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow back from All Stars duties in the No.1 jersey.

Manly Sea Eagles vs Brisbane Broncos (Brookvale Oval, 5.55pm)

No sign of Josh Schuster this weekend. (Getty)

Sea Eagles team list: 1. Bailey Hodgson 2. Max Lehmann 3. Cameron Brown 4. Clayton Faulalo 5. Watson Heleta 6. Jamie Humphreys 7. Brandon Wakeham 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 10. Aitasi James 11. Brad Parker 12. Ben Condon 13. Dean Matterson 14. Kobe Rugless 15. Austin Dias 16. Jacob Sykes 17. James Uesele 18. Caleb Navale 19. Tylor Bunting

Team news: Depleted squad due to the Las Vegas trip. Josh Schuster has again been put on ice after reportedly pulling up with a sore calf following a training session on Sunday. The Sea Eagles have reportedly abandoned their plan to fly him over to Vegas to join his teammates after this trial, with the $800,000-a-season star instead told to set his sights on a return in the second round against the Roosters on March 17. Young gun Jamie Humphreys gets a crack at five-eighth, while Gordon Chan Kum Tong starts at hooker.

Broncos team list: 1. Creedence Toia 2. Sione Hopoate 3. Delouise Hoeter 4. Ethan Quai-Ward 5. Jordan Pereira 6. Joshua Rogers 7. Kurt Falls 8. Bailey Butler 9. Blake Mozer 10. Benjamin Te Kura 11. Jaiyden Hunt 12. Ethan O’neill 13. Rory Ferguson 14. Joseph Tomane 15. Joshua Stuckey 16. Cooper Page-Wilson 17. Joshua Patston 18. Kalolo Saitaua 19. Cory Paix

Team news: A good opportunity for the likes of Blake Mozer and Ben Te Kura this weekend in the trials, with the bulk of the squad travelling overseas.

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Wests Tigers (Glen Willow Oval, 8.05pm)

Kyle Flanagan will be hoping for an improved showing this weekend. (Getty)

Dragons team list: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Zac Lomax 3. Moses Suli 4. Jack Bird 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Kyle Flanagan 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Tom Eisenhuth 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack de Belin 14. Jesse Marschke 15. Viliami Fifita 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 18. Michael Molo 19. Connor Muhleisen 20. Christian Tuipulotu 21. Mathew Feagai 22. Sione Finau 23. Max Feagai 24. Toby Couchman

Team news: An unchanged starting 13 from the Charity Shield defeat. Raymond Faitala-Mariner will play his first game in the Red V, but there’s no sign of fellow recruit Hame Sele, who has been rested in preparation for the season. 

Tigers team list: 1. Jahream Bula 2. Charlie Staines 3. Justin Olam 4. Starford To’a 5. Junior Tupou 6. Jayden Sullivan 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Asu Kepaoa 13. Alex Seyfarth 14. Lachlan Galvin 15. Alex Twal 16. Fonua Pole 17. Samuela Fainu 18. Sione Fainu 19. Jake Simpkin 20. Heath Mason 21. Alexander Lobb 22. Navren Willett 23. Sione Latoa-vaihu 24. Solomon Alaimalo

Team news: Jayden Sullivan and Aidan Sezer will start in the halves once again, with rookie sensation Lachlan Galvin on the bench. A strong lineup for Benji Marshall’s side.

Sunday, February 25

Canberra Raiders vs North Queensland Cowboys (Seiffert Oval, 3pm)

Tom Dearden will line up in the No.6 jumper for the trial game. (Getty)

Raiders team list: 1. Albert Hopoate 2. Utuloa Asouma 3. Matthew Timoko 4. James Schiller 5. Xavier Savage 6. Kaeo Weekes 7. Ethan Strange 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Danny Levi 10. Emre Guler 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Morgan Smithies 14. Tom Starling 15. Nick Cotric 16. Trey Mooney 17. Jed Stuart 18. Chevy Stewart 19. Adam Cook 20. Peter Hola 21. Mitch Henderson 22. Zac Hosking 23. Simi Sasagi 24. Pasami Saulo

Team news: Albert Hopoate gets a chance at fullback this weekend, with Xavier Savage on the wing and Chevy Stewart on the bench. No sign of Jamal Fogarty in an otherwise solid lineup for the Raiders, who have named a host of experienced stars.

Cowboys team list: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Zac Laybutt 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Coen Hess 17. Sam McIntyre 18. Thomas Mikaele 19. Tomas Chester 20. Semi Valemei 21. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 22. Jack Gosiewski 23. Jake Clifford

Team news: The big guns are in for the Cowboys, with head coach Todd Payten unveiling his likely 17 for the first round of the season, barring injury or suspension. The only notable name missing is Luciano Leilua, who looks set to leave the club.

Gold Coast Titans vs Parramatta Eels (North Ipswich Reserve, 5pm)

AJ Brimson has been named at centre for this weekend. (NRL Imagery)

Titans team list: 1. Keano Kini 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. AJ Brimson 5. Phillip Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Sam Verrills 10. Keenan Palasia 11. Klese Haas 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Chris Randall 15. Jaimin Jolliffe 16. Erin Clark 17. Jacob Alick 18. Joe Stimson 19. Harley Smith-Shields 20. Jojo Fifita 21. Thomas Weaver 22. Jaylan De Groot 23. Josiah Pahulu

Team news: The positional switch of AJ Brimson to the centres has been confirmed, with Keano Kini named at fullback in the absence of Jayden Campbell. Still no sign of David Fifita, who is recovering from a pectoral injury.

Eels team list: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Brendan Hands 15. Wiremu Greig 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Kelma Tuilagi 18. Ryan Matterson 19. Morgan Harper 20. Haze Dunster 21. Daejarn Asi 22. Blaize Talagi

Team news: Full-strength outfit for Parra but there is one notable man sitting just outside the named 17, with experienced forward Ryan Matterson in jersey No.18 for this clash. Sean Russell looks set to grab a permanent wing spot this season, while Joey Lussick will get a chance to start at hooker with Brendan Hands on the bench.

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