NRL Rd 1 - Storm v Rabbitohs
NRL Rd 1 - Storm v Rabbitohs

NRL teams: Bennett punts new boys

Wayne Bennett has rung in the changes for South Sydney with off-season recruits Josh Mansour and Jacob Host both dropped from the Rabbitohs side to play Manly on Saturday.

After the Rabbitohs opened their season with a 26-18 loss to an understrength Melbourne, Bennett has relegated Mansour and Host to the reserves, with Jaxson Paulo and Keaon Koloamatangi replacing them respectively, while Patrick Mago slots in on the bench.

Mansour has been named for South Sydney's NSW Cup side to take on Blacktown Sea Eagles in the curtain raiser.

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It was an unhappy debut in cardinal and myrtle for the former Panther, who managed just 75 metres from 11 carries in the season opener while also enduring several defensive lapses.

In contrast, Manly coach Des Hasler has made just one change to his starting line-up after the Sea Eagles were thumped 46-4 by the Roosters.

Backrower Andrew Davey has swapped places with Jack Gosiewski while hooker Cade Cust, who scored three tries in reserve grade last week, has snagged a place on the bench.

Star five-eighth Kieran Foran is expected to play after recovering from a cork but Josh Schuster is on standby should the veteran be unavailable.

Roosters fans might have to wait a little longer to see the NRL debut of exciting youngster Sam Walker after the 18-year-old half was again named among the club's reserves.

There was speculation Walker could come off the bench following injuries to Adam Keighran and Jake Friend but Drew Hutchison has been named at No.14 by Trent Robinson.

Freddy Lussick replaces Friend at hooker and Nat Butcher starts for the suspended Angus Crichton.


Joseph Suaalii was also not named despite being granted an exemption to play first grade by the NRL.

The Dragons welcome back pivot Corey Norman for their clash with North Queensland on Saturday night after serving a one-match suspension.

Norman replaces Adam Clune at five-eighth in the only change for Anthony Griffin's men.

Wests Tigers also boast a new stand-off with Adam Doueihi named to partner Luke Brooks in the halves against the Roosters.

Doueihi's inclusion forces Moses Mbye back to the bench and veteran prop Russell Packer out of the side.

Canberra will hold Jarrod Croker back for at least one more week in an attempt to ensure the skipper is at peak fitness when he returns from a shoulder injury.

Croker has recovered from his off-season surgery but Ricky Stuart is taking no chances, opting to stick with Seb Kris for Sunday's clash with the Sharks.

Fiery prop Corey Horsburgh has also missed selection after serving a one-game ban for drink-driving.



EELS: Just the one change. Marata Niukore (suspension) returns after missing the opening game. He scores a bench spot with Keegan Hipgrave dropping to 18th man. Reed Mahoney is the third most purchased player after a career-best 134, but is a classic case of chasing last week's points.

STORM: No changes to the 17. Back-up hooker Tyson Smoothy retains his bench spot after debuting last week with Nicho Hynes again 18th man. Tui Kamikamica passed gameday HIA and should be fit to play. The opening game of round one was the Cameron Munster and Ryan Papenhuyzen show and KFC SuperCoaches hope in continues this week.


WARRIORS: Euan Aitken (elbow) is out, replaced at centre by Adam Pompey in the only change coach Nathan Brown has made to the team that won so well in Round One. Tohu Harris was once again at his base stat best in the opener playing 80 minutes and churning out 60 points in base while FRF Addin Fonua-Blake looked back to his 2019 form with 65 points in 57 minutes and at just 7.7% ownership he's a serious option for those wanting to save $50K on the likes of Junior Paulo or Daniel Saifiti. Bayley Sironen has caught the eye of bargain hunters after scoring 74 points in 50 minutes. That included a try and LB but the 40+ base and six points in tackle busts was not too shabby.

KNIGHTS : Despite reports he'd miss up to six weeks, five-eighth Kurt Mann (knee) has made a miraculous recovery. Coach Adam O'Brien has therefore stuck to the same 17 players, with Connor Watson switched back to lock despite playing from the bench last week. Both Mann (knee) and Bradman Best (ankle) are expected to play. .

Tom Flegler has taken over the role of Matt Lodge.
Tom Flegler has taken over the role of Matt Lodge.



TITANS: Brian Kelly (fractured hand) is out for three weeks and replaced at centre by Phillip Sami. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui played 65 minutes at lock last week in a very encouraging sign for KFC SuperCoaches.

BRONCOS: Matt Lodge (hamstring) will miss the next 2-3 weeks and his absence sees Tom Flegler move into the starting side at prop and Rhys Kennedy come into the 17..




BULLDOGS: Jeremy Marshall-King (foot) returns from a lisfranc injury on the bench, pushing out last week's debutant Brad Deitz. Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been promoted to the starting side ahead of Corey Waddell, who drops to the bench. Nick Cotric (ankle) and Jake Averillo (elbow) got through last week's game OK, despite Cotric suffering cramps, and should be right to play.

PANTHERS: No changes. All eyes will again be on popular KFC SuperCoach buys Charlie Staines, Nathan Cleary, Kurt Capewell and Spencer Leniu.






SEA EAGLES: Andrew Davey and Jack Gosiewski swap starter/bench roles in the only change to the starting 13. Cade Cust comes on to the bench in place of Tevita Funa while Sean Keppie replaces Morgan Boyle.

RABBITOHS: Josh Mansour's Rabbitohs run has lasted just one game, replaced by Jaxson Paulo. Jacob Host has been dropped out of the 17 with his starting role taken by Keaon Koloamatangi which sees Patrick Mago come on to the bench. Tom Burgess named to start despite being stretchered from the field late last week.

Tyrell Fuimaono has retained his role at lock.
Tyrell Fuimaono has retained his role at lock.




COWBOYS: No changes by Todd Payten despite the Cowboys being humbled by the Panthers.

DRAGONS: Don't look now Dragons fans, Corey Norman is back, replacing Adam Clune at five-eighth in the only change to last week's 17. Tyrell Fuimaono retains the lock role and Tom Sangster is excited..





TIGERS: Adam Doueihi (suspension) is back and his return pushes Moses Mbye to the interchange. One other change, and it's a win for Stefano Utoikamanu who retained his spot on the bench while it was Russell Packer who made way. Hopefully more minutes for Stefano with one less big bopper in the team.

ROOSTERS: Angus Crichton copped a one-week suspension and this sees Nat Butcher promoted to the starting side with Fletcher Baker coming on to the bench. Jake Friend (concussion) is out which sees Freddy Lussick get the start at hooker. Utility Adam Keighran (hand) will miss a few weeks and so the Roosters have promoted Drew Hutchison to 14.






SHARKS: Jesse Ramien (suspended) is out, replaced at centre by Mawene Hiroti in the only change to last week's 17.

RAIDERS: No changes for the Raiders with co-captain Jarrod Croker given at least one more week to regain match fitness as he comes back from a shoulder injury.


Originally published as NRL teams: Bennett punts new boys

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