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Papi in Munster out in Storm switch, Haas, Reynolds OK, Ponga, Keary out

Origin II has knocked several clubs around for Round 16 but three of the NRL’s biggest stars will return from lengthy layoffs with Latrell Mitchell, Ryan Papenhuyzen and David Fifita making comebacks.

Teams have been officially announced for all squads after the Representative Round bye and Mitchell will line up at fullback for Souths against Parramatta on Saturday for the first time since he tore his hamstring against the Dragons on April 9.

His potential return prior to Origin II was delayed by a bout of COVID with the same ailment delaying Papenhuyzen recently after he was named to play following his knee and hamstring problems.

The Storm flyer had been named in the reserves for Melbourne for their trip to Manly on Thursday night but coach Craig Bellamy confirmed on Wednesday that he would play.

Nick Meaney, who was named at fullback, will shift to five-eighth as Cameron Munster has been ruled out due to the shoulder injury he suffered in Origin II. But the good news is he is likely to suit up for the series decider after scans revealed his shoulder injury was AC joint irritation.

“Thankfully it’s not as bad as first anticipated on Sunday night after the game where there were reports of a grade-three AC joint injury, that’s definitely not the case,” Storm general manager Frank Ponissi said.

Maroons forward Felise Kaufusi will not play for the Storm after he was granted time off to go to the United States to be with his father, Taniela, who has been hospitalised in Los Angeles.

Cam Munster for Queensland

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

It’s unknown when he will return, or whether the trip will affect his status for July 13’s Origin series decider at Suncorp Stadium.

Manly prop Josh Aloiai will miss the game after he suffered a serious head knock playing for Samoa in Rep Round.

Fifita will pack down in the second row for the Gold Coast in Newcastle against the Knights, who will be without Kalyn Ponga after he was ruled out due to a concussion suffered late in Origin.

NSW prop Payne Haas is hopeful of playing for the Broncos on Saturday against the Cowboys in Townsville despite suffering a high ankle sprain in the game-two victory in Perth.

“He had a low grade syndesmosis but we’ll find out more this morning,” Broncos head of football Ben Ikin told SEN when asked about Haas.

“The bloke is so single-minded and has this capacity to push through the pain barrier, it wouldn’t surprise me if the results come back OK and he plays against the Cowboys.”

The club later announced he had been given the all-clear to play on Saturday.

Brisbane captain Adam Reynolds is set to return at halfback after a couple of weeks out with rib damage.

The match will mark both the 100th NRL appearance and club debut of North Queensland recruit Luciano Leilua.

The Warriors flew into Auckland on Monday and were greeted at Mt Smart Stadium on Tuesday with a traditional welcoming ceremony as the build-up for the clash continues to their first match at home since 2019.

Warriors prop Bunty Afoa will memorably become the club’s 28th 100-game player in one of the biggest occasions in team history.

Luke Brooks will line up in the halves for the Wests Tigers despite incorrect speculation that he would be dropped.


Manly Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm at 4 Pines Park, 7.50pm AEST

Sea Eagles: Josh Aloiai has been ruled out with a concussion suffered while representing Samoa.

1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Morgan Harper 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Sean Keppie 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Andrew Davey 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Josh Schuster 16. Martin Taupau 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Ben Trbojevic 19. Kurt De Luis 20. Ethan Bullemor 21. Jorge Taufua 22. Kaeo Weekes

Storm: Ryan Papenhuyzen will make his comeback from leg injuries and a bout of COVID-19 as Cameron Munster (shoulder) has been ruled out. Felise Kaufusi (personal reasons) is out with Chris Lewis into the second row. Papenhuyzen will slot in at fullback with Nick Meaney switched to five-eighth for Munster.

19. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Grant Anderson 1. Nick Meaney 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Chris Lewis 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Brandon Smith 14. Jayden Nikorima 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 18. Alec MacDonald 20. Tyran Wishart 21. Jordan Grant 22. Bronson Garlick


Newcastle Knights vs Gold Coast Titans at McDonald Jones Stadium, 6pm AEST

Knights: Kalyn Ponga (head knock) has been ruled out after the high shot he copped from Nathan Cleary in Origin II. Tex Hoy is the new fullback. Prop Daniel Saifiti (knee) and centre Bradman Best (elbow) are a chance of returning after being named in the reserves.

1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Enari Tuala 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Kurt Mann 14. Simi Sasagi 15. Leo Thompson 16. Mathew Croker 17. Pasami Saulo 18. Jake Clifford 19. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 20. Bradman Best 21. Hymel Hunt 22. Daniel Saifiti

Titans: David Fifita is expected to return from his knee injury via the interchange.

1. AJ Brimson 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Paul Turner 7. Toby Sexton 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. Sam McIntyre 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. David Fifita 18. Corey Thompson 19. Herman Ese’ese 20. Aaron Booth 21. Kevin Proctor 22. Sosefo Fifita

Penrith Panthers vs Sydney Roosters at BlueBet Stadium, 7.55pm AEST

Panthers: Penrith’s Origin contingent did not suffer any major injuries on Sunday night in Perth. Nathan Cleary escaped sanction for his high hit on Kalyn Ponga.

1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Robert Jennings 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. Chris Smith 21. Sunia Turuva 22. Sean O’Sullivan

Roosters: Victor Radley is over his ankle injury suffered six weeks ago and is back at lock. Luke Keary (concussion) will miss another week with Drew Hutchison filling in for him in the halves alongside Sam Walker.

1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Drew Hutchison 7. Sam Walker 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Sam Verrills 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 14. Connor Watson 15. Egan Butcher 16. Nat Butcher 17. Fletcher Baker 18. Paul Momirovski 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 20. Adam Keighran 21. Terrell May 22. Lachlan Lam

Matt Burton

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)


Canterbury Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks at CommBank Stadium, 3pm AEST

Bulldogs: Luke Thompson recently returned to the UK for personal reasons and is not due back until next week. The team has remained the same from the 17-man line-up which thumped the Wests Tigers a fortnight ago.

1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Corey Allan 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Tevita Pangai Junior 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Corey Waddell 16. Joe Stimson 17. Kurtis Morrin 19. Declan Casey 20. Bailey Biondi-Odo 21. Jayden Tanner 22. Harrison Edwards 24. Jackson Topine

Sharks: Siosifa Talakai only played 17 minutes in his NSW Origin debut off the bench so he will be relatively fresh.

1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Dale Finucane 16. Teig Wilton 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Connor Tracey 19. Braydon Trindall 20. Kade Dykes 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Lachlan Miller

North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, 5.30pm AEST

Cowboys: The match will mark both the 100th NRL appearance and club debut of North Queensland recruit Luciano Leilua. He has been named on the interchange.

1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Tom Gilbert 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Jake Granville 15. Luciano Leilua 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame 18. Ben Condon 19. Brendan Elliot 20. Kane Bradley 21. Iosefo Baleiwairiki 22. Kyle Feldt

Broncos: Adam Reynolds (ribs) and Payne Haas (ankle) are hoping to play and the club expects both to suit up.

1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Jake Turpin 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Jordan Pereira 19. TC Robati 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Delouise Hoeter 22. Rhys Kennedy

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Parramatta Eels at Accor Stadium, 7.35pm AEST

Rabbitohs: Latrell Mitchell’s return is a massive boost for the inconsistent Bunnies. His return pushes Kodi Nikorima to the interchange and Blake Taaffe to the reserves.

1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Taane Milne 4. Campbell Graham 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Thomas Burgess 16. Siliva Havili 17. Hame Sele 18. Blake Taaffe 19. Isaiah Tass 20. Liam Knight 21. Ben Lovett 22. Davvy Moale

Eels: Coach Brad Arthur has few concerns with his squad with Blues prop Junior Paulo and their international contingent all avoiding injury last weekend.

1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 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. Ryan Matterson 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Marata Niukore 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Ky Rodwell 18. Tom Opacic 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Nathan Brown 21. Bryce Cartwright 22. Hayze Perham


New Zealand Warriors vs Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium,, 2pm AEST

Warriors: Auckland is abuzz with the Warriors returning to play their first match on New Zealand soil since 2019. Warriors prop Bunty Afoa will memorably become the club’s 28th 100-game player in one of the biggest occasions in team history.

1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Euan Aitken 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Ronald Volkman 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jazz Tevaga 11. Jack Murchie 12. Tohu Harris (c) 13. Josh Curran.
Interchange: 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Eliesa Katoa 17. Bayley Sironen 18. Adam Pompey 20. Aaron Pene 21. Rocco Berry 22. Freddy Lussick 23. Daejarn Asi

Tigers: Luke Brooks has retained his position in the halves despite speculation suggesting he would be dropped. Young prop Stefano Utoikamanu (foot) is back while fellow front-rower Fonua Pole will make his NRL debut.

1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. James Roberts 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Fa’amanu Brown 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Stefano Utoikamanu 15. Adam Doueihi 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Fonua Pole 18. Asu Kepaoa 19. Junior Tupou 20. Austin Dias 21. Jacob Liddle 22. Justin Matamua

St George Illawarra Dragons vs Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium, 4pm AEST

Dragons: Ben Hunt hurt his ankle on Origin duty for the Maroons and may be forced to sit this match out.

1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Moses Mbye 15. Francis Molo 16. Aaron Woods 17. Michael Molo 18. Josh Kerr 19. Tautau Moga 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Jaiyden Hunt 22. Billy Burns

Raiders: Jack Wighton is over the COVID-19 bout which ruled him out of Origin II. His return squeezes Matt Frawley back to the reserves while Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (hamstring) is also looking to return via the bench.

1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 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 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 17. Corey Horsburgh 18. Matt Frawley 19. Corey Harawira-Naera 20. Trey Mooney 21. Semi Valemei 22. Adrian Trevilyan

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