Cronulla Sharks winger Beau Ryan is expected to play his first game of the year after being named in an extended squad for Cronulla’s match against Penrith on Saturday. Ryan hasn’t played this year after undergoing off-season neck surgery. The Sharks were hopeful that Anthony Tupou was going to return from a knee injury but the back-rower aggravated his hamstring last week.
The Kiwis have been dealt a further blow with back-up hooker Thomas Leuluai aggravating a long-term groin injury. The injury has forced Leuluai out of the Warriors squad with Chad Townsend taking his place at five-eighth. Leuluai was expected to be named in the Kiwis squad to play Australia on May 2 but is now in doubt. He was to cover for the injured Rabbitohs hooker Issac Luke, who may still be fit as he battles to make his return from a shoulder injury. Injuries have left the Kiwis hooking stock depleted. Sam McKendry, another Kiwi Test hopeful, hasn’t been named for the Panthers after injuring his ankle at training last week.
Ben Hampton will replace Ben Roberts at five-eighth for the Storm, while Joel Thompson will make his return from concussion for St George Illawarra against the Roosters in the traditional Anzac Day clash on Friday. Trent Merrin will play his 100th game for the Dragons.
In-form Tigers prop James Gavet joins Robbie Farah and James Tedesco on the sidelines. While Gavet will be out for at least a month with a hamstring strain, the Tigers will welcome back veteran back-rower Liam Fulton.
Newcastle’s Jeremy Smith has been named but is in extreme doubt as he continues to battle a knee injury. Kade Snowden replaces the suspended Willie Mason at prop.
Former Brisbane captain Sam Thaiday remains sidelined with an ongoing calf problem for the Broncos clash against South Sydney. The Rabbitohs welcome back George Burgess and Ben Te'o from suspension.
Manly fullback Brett Stewart has been named to play for the Sea Eagles despite being charged with drink driving on Monday morning.