NRL; North Queensland Cowboys Vs Gold Coast Titans at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Jason Taumalolo . Picture: Alix Sweeney
NRL; North Queensland Cowboys Vs Gold Coast Titans at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Jason Taumalolo . Picture: Alix Sweeney

Late Mail: Lolo locked in as Manly lose two stars

CHECK out all the Late Mail ahead of round five of the 2020 season.

MANLY CALL ON UNCAPPED WINGER

Manly will blood 22-year-old winger Tevita Funa on Thursday night against the Broncos after Jorge Taufua was ruled out with injury. Funa was kept in the 19-man side alongside the more experienced Brendan Elliott but it will be Funa who gets the nod.

He was part of Many's under-20s premiership winning team in 2017. 

SEA EAGLES V BRONCOS

Thursday, June 11, 7:50pm, Central Coast Stadium

Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 5. Reuben Garrick 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 20. Tevita Funa 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 15. Corey Waddell 13. Jake Trbojevic

Interchange: 14. Lachlan Croker 16. Sean Keppie, 17. Taniela Paseka 19. Jack Gosiewski

Reserves: 18. Morgan Boyle, 21. Brendan Elliot

Players cut: 2. Jorge Taufua, 12. Curtis Sironen

Late mail: Sea Eagles pair Jorge Taufua and Curtis Sironen (knee) were both omitted 24 hours before kickoff when the squad was cut to 19. That means Corey Waddell starts on the right edge with Jack Gosiewski coming onto the bench, while we will see rookie Tevita Funa make his NRL debut on the left wing in place of Taufua. Addin Fonua-Blake suffered a stinger to his 'good' shoulder in the game last weekend and is in some doubt. Brendan Elliot, Funa and Morgan Boyle all remain in the 19-man squad.

Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Kotoni Staggs, 4. Darius Boyd, 5. Herbie Farnworth, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Brodie Croft (c), 8. Matthew Lodge, 9. Cory Paix, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Corey Oates, 12. Joe Ofahengaue, 13. Pat Carrigan (c)

Interchange: 14. Tesi Niu, 15. Ben Te'o, 16. Rhys Kennedy, 17. Thomas Flegler

Reserves: 18. Jamil Hopoate, 20. Tom Dearden

Players cut: 19. Richard Kennar, 21. Ethan Bullemor

Late mail: The Broncos are expected to be 1-17 with Corey Oates shifting to the backrow, where he'll start on the left edge and Joe Ofahengaue on the right. Kotoni Staggs returns at right centre after missing the Roosters game due to suspension, while Xavier Coates comes into the side on the right wing and Herbie Farnworth on the left. New signing Ben Te'o makes his NRL return from the bench and it will be interesting to see how his match fitness is with the speed of the modern game. Tom Dearden and Jamil Hopoate remain in the 19 with Ethan Bullemor and Richie Kennar omitted 24 hours before kickoff.

WARRIORS V COWBOYS

Warriors: Warriors will welcome back Peta Hiku after he missed last week, and he'll replace Hayze Perham at centre. Agnatius Paasi returns after missing last week through suspension and could come onto the bench. Blake Green and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown both picked up knocks last week but both should be right to go, while I am expecting Tohu Harris to continue in the lock role with either Adam Blair or Jack Murchie starting on the right edge.

Cowboys: The Cowboys have named Jason Taumalolo on an extended bench after he missed last week's loss to Cronulla with a knee injury - but he's trained with the squad this week and is a confirmed starter. Mitch Dunn (concussion) is also in some doubt after failing to finish last week's game and will need to pass the required HIA protocols to play. Another Cowboy who needs to get through the captain's run is Coen Hess, after he was a late omission last week with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, excitement machine Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow makes his NRL debut on the left wing - he would have played earlier in season but has been managing a few injuries.

EELS v PANTHERS

Eels: The Eels are expected to have Ryan Matterson (ankle), Mitchell Moses (cork) and Maika Sivo (knock) all available. Nathan Brown returns after missing the last two games through suspension.

Panthers: Penrith have named Dylan Edwards on an extended bench after recovering from his hamstring injury, and provided he gets through the captain's run he will come in at fullback for Caleb Aekins. Liam Martin returned to training last week after recovering from a leg injury and has again been named in 17 but I am expecting Jack Hetherington to come on to the bench in his place. Jarome Luai will need to recover from knee injury suffered last week to resume his halves partnership with Nathan Cleary, who returns after missing the past two games with suspension.

RABBITOHS v TITANS

South Sydney: The Rabbitohs have both Junior Tatola and Jaydn Su'A in some doubt, with both needing to prove their fitness at the captain's run. Bailey Sironen returns after recovering from concussion. Cody Walker and James Roberts return after missing the past two games due to off-field issues. And with Roberts returning at right centre I am expecting Dane Gagai to switch to left centre, allowing Campbell Graham to move back to the right wing outside Roberts.

Titans: The Gold Coast have Jai Arrow in doubt after he copped a bad knock in the final minutes of the last-minute win over the Tigers last weekend. Jarrod Wallace and Jai Whitbread are on standby should he be ruled out. The only other potential change to the 17 revolves around Tyrone Roberts and whether he can prove his fitness as he battles an ankle injury which has kept him out for the past two games. If fit he would come in at fullback with Phillip Sami moving to the wing and Brian Kelly dropping out of the 17.

KNIGHTS v STORM

Knights: Newcastle have Kurt Mann in serious doubt after he suffered an ankle injury in last week's win over Canberra, though there are suggestions he is still a chance after having a light jog on Wednesday. If Mann is ruled out Phoenix Crossland would come in to the team.

Kalyn Ponga (concussion) is good to go after passing the required HIA protocols and he trained with the squad this week. Backrower Sione Mata'utia stayed down after receiving a hit on the weekend but, like Ponga, trained with the squad and will be right to go. Lachlan Fitzgibbon is also an outside chance to return from a hamstring injury after being named on bench - where he could take the place of Brodie Jones.

Storm: Melbourne have named Ryley Jacks in the halves to replace Jahrome Hughes (hand) but it wouldn't surprise to see Cooper Johns coming in to make his NRL debut at halfback. Josh Addo-Carr has trained this week and I expect him to play after recovering from a rib injury. The only other potential change I foresee is Nelson Asofa-Solomona starting at prop which would force Christian Welch back to the bench.

TIGERS v RAIDERS

Wests Tigers: Coach Michael Maguire swung the axe on Team-list-Tuesday dropping a host of players after a disappointing performance losing to the Titans last week. Tommy Taulau comes on to the left wing with Josh Reynolds coming on to the right edge to partner Chris Lawrence. Zane Musgrove returns to the team and is listed to start at prop pushing Thomas Mikaele to the bench. Russell Packer returns after recovering from foot surgery which ended his 2019 season early, he returned to full training a couple of weeks ago and is good to go, while Michael Chee-Kam comes on to the bench as a bench utility.

Raiders: Canberra have both Joseph Tapine (knock) and Jack Wighton (concussion) in doubt after both failed to finish the game on the weekend and they will need to prove their fitness at the captain's run. I expect both to play with the Raiders to be 1-17.

BULLDOGS V ROOSTERS

Bulldogs: The Bulldogs will be without Reimis Smith after he failed at the judiciary on Tuesday and was suspended, I expect we will see a like-for-like swap with Morgan Harper coming in at right centre. Jesse Sue passed his game-day HIA but will need to pass required protocols to play and if ruled out I expect Ofahiki Ogden to come onto the bench.

Roosters: The Roosters welcome back James Tedesco after the star fullback failed a temperature check last week due to a stomach bug. Tedesco returned to training on Tuesday and will be right to go. Isaac Liu is in doubt due to concussion, I expect him to be ruled out which will see Mitch Aubusson come onto the bench to play his first game back after COVID-19 enforced break. Victor Radley will be checked at the captain's run after suffering an elbow injury on the weekend but is expected to play.

DRAGONS v SHARKS

Dragons: Coach Paul McGregor is currently under the pump with the team underperforming but he has decided not to make wholesale changes to team. Tyrell Fuimaono comes onto the right edge to replace an injured Tariq Sims (wrist), Euan Aitken comes in at left centre to replace the injured Brayden Williame (calf) with other potential changes being Jason Saab replace Jordan Pereria on the left wing and either Jacob Host or Korbin Sims to replace Matt Dufty on the bench.

Sharks: Cronulla have named both Andrew Fifita (knee) and Chad Townsend (hamstring) to return from injury but both will need to pass final fitness tests at Saturday's captain's run with Will Kennedy and Siosifa Talakai on standby should they be ruled out. Josh Dugan didn't train with the squad early in the week but should be right to go on Sunday. Mawene Hiroti has been named to make his Sharks debut after recovering from a leg injury which limited his pre-season.



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