Daly Cherry-Evans returns early from an ankle injury to boost Manly for their round 16 clash with North Queensland, while a clause in the contract of new St George Illawarra forward Tariq Sims will prevent him playing against his former club Newcastle.
Former Queensland and Australian halfback Cherry-Evans injured his ankle in Manly’s round 13 loss to Canberra and was expected to be sidelined for five weeks.
However, he returns after missing just two matches for third-last-placed Manly’s trip to Townsville on Monday night.
After making his Dragons debut last weekend following his mid-season move to the joint venture, Sims won’t play against the Knights at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
Josh Dugan (elbow injury) and Tyson Frizell, who will play for NSW in State of Origin II, are not in the Dragons side to play the Knights. However, they could be late inclusions.
South Sydney coach Michael Maguire’s experiment with Greg Inglis at five-eighth has been shelved, for now anyway, with Luke Keary to partner Adam Reynolds in the Rabbitohs halves for Friday’s match with Penrith.
Inglis will play centre, with Cody Walker at the back.
Josh Morris is in Canterbury’s side to play Brisbane despite the groin injury that ruled him out of State of Origin II.
His twin, Brett, hasn’t been named as his recovery from a knee injury continues. But he could play his first game of the season at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
Tom Opacic will make his NRL debut in the centres for Brisbane in place of Jordan Kahu.
Queensland prop Jacob Lillyman returns for the Warriors’ visit to Shark Park to meet Cronulla on Saturday night.
Shannon Boyd and Jack Wighton return from suspension for Canberra’s match against Gold Coast in Queensland on Sunday.
Melbourne’s playmaking quarter of Cameron Munster, Blake Green, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith return for Sunday’s AAMI Park clash with Wests Tigers.
Parramatta and Sydney Roosters have the bye.