Sydney Roosters have axed out-of-form representative forward Aidan Guerra as Michael Ennis, Jamie Lyon and Josh Dugan headline the key inclusions for round 23 of the NRL.
Guerra played in all three State of Origin matches for Queensland this year but had struggled for form for much of the season and was named as 18th man by Roosters coach Trent Robinson for Sunday’s clash with North Queensland at Allianz Stadium.
The 28-year-old is off contact at the end of next season, but his axing with just four rounds to play in 2016 puts his future at the club in some doubt.
Cronulla hooker Ennis returns from a virus for the Sharks’ clash with St George Illawarra, who welcome back Dugan at fullback for Adam Quinlan for Saturday’s Kogarah Oval clash, after a month out due to a jaw injury.
Tyson Frizell and Joel Thompson are both back from suspension for the Dragons.
Matt McIllwrick makes way for Ennis for the Sharks, who are without Sam Tagataese due to shoulder trouble. Joseph Paulo and Ricky Leutele move onto the Sharks’ bench. Fa’amanu Brown falls out of coach Shane Flanagan’s team.
Skipper Lyon is back from a hamstring complaint for Manly’s match against Canterbury on Thursday night at ANZ Stadium. That shifts Dylan Walker to centre, Lewis Brown to the bench and Blake Leary out of Trent Barrett’s Sea Eagles side.
In other news as teams were named on Tuesday, Jarryd Hayne will make his run-on debut for Gold Coast at five-eighth, replacing Tyrone Roberts, who is absent with a knee injury for Saturday’s visit to Campbelltown to meet Wests Tigers.
Hooker Jake Granville is out of North Queensland’s side due to a broken hand. Ray Thompson comes into dummy-half for him, while Kyle Feldt returns from a three-match ban on the wing, pushing Javid Bowen out of the premiers’ side.
The Roosters welcome back Mitchell Pearce (calf) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (knee).
Beau Scott (ankle) is missing from Parramatta’s side for their visit to Suncorp Stadium on Friday night to meet Brisbane.
Both 17s are unchanged for South Sydney’s trip to play the Warriors on Saturday to Auckland.
A rib injury to hooker Dani Levi has ruled him out of Newcastle’s match on Sunday against Penrith. Tyler Randell is in.
Canberra and Melbourne are unchanged for Monday night’s top-four clash to conclude round 23 in the nation’s capital.