Tom Sangster reveals the players to pick and who to avoid in SuperCoach 2016
YOUNG forward Liam Knight will make his NRL debut for Manly in Monday night’s game against Gold Coast.
The 21-year-old was named as No.18 on an extended bench for the Sea Eagles on Tuesday, however coach Trent Barrett confirmed he would face the Titans after the club successfully sought second-tier salary cap dispensation from the NRL.
“We had to apply to the NRL for him to be able to play,” Barrett said.
“But given the injuries that we’ve got — we’ve lost Nate Myles through injury, losing Dylan Walker — we’re a number of players down,” Barrett said.
Knight’s debut represents a significant turnaround for the youngster, who was re-signed by the Sea Eagles until the end of 2017 at the start of the season after two impressive years in the under-20s.
However his future appeared in jeopardy in March after he was stood down for high-range drink driving while on his P-Plates. In the same incident Knight had been followed by police for about four kilometres after being seen speeding through Frenchs Forest “well above” the 70km/h limit.
Rabbitohs v Eels
7.50pm Friday at ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs – Updated 4.45pm Friday:Forward John Sutton (pectoral) is aiming to make a long-awaited return from injury. Centre Kirisome Auva’a (ankle) is in doubt. With the Rabbitohs already minus backline stars Adam Reynolds and Greg Inglis due to Origin, the club is set to call on Ed Murphy. The former NSW Under 20s player would form an all-rookie centre pairing with Siosifa Talaki, who was named in the No.4 jersey on Tuesday. Sam Burgess (shoulder) and Luke Keary (ankle) have trained this week and are certain starters. Cody Walker and Keary combine in the halves for the first time since round six, while Alex Johnston switches to fullback.
Eels: No changes expected, with Vai Toutai named to replace Origin-bound Michael Jennings at centre. Tim Mannah (fractured shoulder) was originally aiming to return this week, but has now set his sights on round 17, which gives him an extra week off due to next week’s bye.
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Dragons v Storm
7.30pm Saturday at WIN Stadium
Dragons: Coach Paul McGregor says mid-week recruit Tariq Sims will come into contention. There is spot free for him on the right fringe after Tyson Frizell was called up for Origin duty. A final decision will be made after Friday’s last session. Josh Dugan (elbow) was back on the training paddock this week for ball work and skills sessions. However, he doesn’t start contact until next week and won’t be a late inclusion. Joel Thompson (cork) hasn’t trained this week, but will take part in captain’s run and is expected to play. Kurt Mann (heel) also missed training as a precaution on Wednesday, but is on track.
Storm: Melbourne have spent the week in Kiama to avoid travel. Blake Green (calf) has been on restricted duties. He must pass a final fitness test on Friday but is expected to play. He would co-captain the side with Jesse Bromwich. Ben Hampton (calf) is an outside chance of being a late inclusion. He would partner Green in the halves, with Tohu Harris to move back into his favoured back row spot. Harris will kick goals in the absence of Cameron Smith (Origin). A host of Melbourne’s players have been on light programs this week after copping knocks against the Roosters, including Cameron Munster, Cheyse Blair and Tim Glasby. All are expected to play.
Warriors v Roosters
4pm Sunday at Mt Smart Stadium
Warriors: No changes expected. Halfback Shaun Johnson (corked quad) is a certain starter despite coming off late last week when the match was well-won. Toafofoa Sipley has been named to replace Jacob Lillyman (Origin), while Ken Maumalo comes in on the wing for Manu Vatuvei (hamstring, round 17).
Roosters: Halfback Mitchell Pearce (calf) was hoping to play, but he has now put off his comeback until after next week’s bye. Isaac Liu (ankle) is a chance of being a late inclusion. Mitchell Aubusson (concussion, broken nose) will play. Dylan Napa (suspension) returns. Shaun Kenny-Dowall (foot) has been named and is keen to take the field, but won’t be 100 per cent.
Tom Sangster reveals the winners and the losers from the round 15 teams
Titans v Sea Eagles
7pm Monday at CBus Super Stadium
Titans: No changes. Scan results have confirmed Konrad Hurrell (calf) will miss a few weeks. With the former Warrior banned from playing his old club in round 17, plus the bye in round 18, he is not likely to take the field again until round 19. Daniel Mortimer has received horrible news on his hamstring. He requires surgery to reattached it to the bone and will miss the season. Ryan Simpkins has been named to play his first NRL game since an ACL injury and broken jaw.
Sea Eagles – Updated 4.45pm Friday: Young prop Liam Knight will debut, although it’s unclear whose spot in the 17 he will take. The Sea Eagles welcome back Jamie Lyon (hamstring) and Martin Taupau (suspension), but lose Dylan Walker (Origin) and Nate Myles (knee, round 20).