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Maloney named for Penrith debut in trial

James Maloney has been named to make his Penrith debut against former club Sydney Roosters in their home NRL trial at Panthers Stadium.

The NSW and Test playmaker will combine with Nathan Cleary in the halves for the first time on Saturday night in a strong Panthers outfit that will also boast James Tamou and Trent Merrin.

The 31-year-old Maloney linked with Penrith after playing in premiership-winning teams at the Roosters in 2013 and Cronulla in 2016.

At Wests Tigers, Benji Marshall was the club’s only current NRL squad member not picked for Saturday night’s trial with North Queensland at Cairns.

Tigers coach Ivan Cleary named recruits Ben Matulino, Chris McQueen, Corey Thompson, Josh Reynolds and Russell Packer in his 30-strong squad but returning former skipper Marshall will be a no-show.

“We’re trying to mix it up and make sure that everyone gets a decent amount of game time under their belt this week,” Cleary said.

Cowboys leader Johnathan Thurston has been named to make his NRL return from injury – along with co-captain Matt Scott – but his recovering shoulder must get a final clearance from a specialist on Thursday.

At Canberra, Siliva Havili and Craig Garvey will vie for the vacant No.9 jersey in the absence of Josh Hodgson after being named for the Raiders’ Saturday night trial with Bulldogs on the Sunshine Coast.

Havili and Garvey are the frontrunners for the hooker role after English international Hodgson was ruled out until at least July with a knee injury.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has named six new faces in a 23-strong squad but kept his big names sidelined for Saturday’s clash with Melbourne at Rotorua.

Recruits Peta Hiku, Leivaha Pulu and Matiu Love-Henry will make their Warriors debuts but other off-season signings Adam Blair, Tohu Harris, Blake Green and Gerard Beale were not included.

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