Several big names ruled out of action for their team’s this weekend.
The Cronulla Sharks and the Manly Sea Eagles have been rocked by the late withdrawals of stars Todd Carney and Glenn Stewart from their team’s for round two of the NRL season.
Manly Sea Eagles
David Williams (knee) and Jason King (shoulder) cleared and Jorge Taufua (shoulder) is back in training and hoping to resume contact work mid-next week.
With Stewart being a late withdrawal, former 18th man Jesse Sene-Lefao will be brought onto the bench.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Dylan Walker (ankle) is expected to play through the pain. But the injury to Chris McQueen (ankle) is considered slightly more serious, potentially opening the door for Kyle Turner to debut.
John Sutton is the front runner to play five-eighth if Walker is ruled out. Kyle Turner is McQueen’s likely replacement.
Brisbane Broncos v North Queensland Cowboys
Both teams are expected to be 1-17, with Todd Lowrie (concussion) cleared for the Broncos.
New Zealand Warriors
Ben Henry will play his first NRL game since a knee reconstruction, with no late changes expected for the Warriors.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Sam Williams replaces Michael Witt (dislocated shoulder) at halfback for the Dragons and Jack De Belin (cork) won’t play.
The Storm are expected to be unchanged, with Cooper Cronk (shoulder) to return. Justin O’Neill (ankle) is not expected back until at least round four, giving Young Tonumaipea a good run in the top grade.
Jamie Soward (back spasms) relinquished the kicking duties after one attempt on the weekend, but has trained all week and is in no doubt.
Jamal Idris (hamstring) and Tim Grant (ribs) are expected to play, with Isaah Yeo and Jeremy Latimore to make way.
The Roosters will finalise their side after Friday’s captain’s run, with Mitchell Aubusson named to start in place of Sonny Bill Williams (suspension, round five) and French recruit Remi Casty coming onto the bench.
Kane Evans has been named to debut in jersey 17, but he also has Dylan Napa and Sio Siua Taukeiaho gunning for the final bench spot.
The Eels are expected to be 1-17, with Kaysa Pritchard replacing Nathan Peats (disciplinary suspension) at hooker.
Gold Coast Titans
Luke Douglas (thumb), Ashley Harrison (concussion) and David Mead (jaw) have been cleared. Mark Minichiello (knee) finished Thursday’s training early, but will play. Ryan James (shoulder) drops out of the squad and will return from injury in the Queensland Cup.
Keith Galloway (toe), David Nofoaluma (hamstring) and Liam Fulton (concussion) have trained and will undergo final fitness tests on Saturday.
Bodene Thompson (finger) has been cleared of serious injury and will play with a splint. Tim Simona (shoulder) is a chance to return despite not being named, but may play NSW Cup.
Kurt Gidley and Tyrone Roberts (both concussion) have passed initial testing and are on track to play. Gidley, Jake Mamo and Matt Minto all trained at fullback for the Knights on Thursday, with a final decision on the team to be made after Saturday’s session.
The Raiders are 1-17, with David Shillington (ribs) and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (ankle) at least a week away. Jarrod Croker (quad) will play, but may relinquish the goalkicking duties to Reece Robinson or Anthony Milford.
Tim Lafai (broken hand) only played 10 minutes in the final trial and will return through NSW Cup to get miles in his legs, with Corey Thompson retaining a backline spot.
Mitch Brown (concussion) has passed testing and will play. Krisnan Inu (broken jaw), Greg Eastwood (foot) and Sam Kasiano (foot) are no chance of early returns. Moses Mbye is unlikely to make the final 17.
Todd Carney (hamstring) was officially ruled out this afternoon. The Sharks are currently assessing their options, but Wade Graham is the front runner to play five-eighth.
Andrew Fifita and Siosaia Vave were named on Tuesday but since suspended, leaving two spots open in the 17. Chris Heighington, named 18th man, will take one as he returns from a calf injury. Tim Robinson and David Fifita are fighting for the other spot.