Key playmakers Michael Morgan, Benji Marshall and Adam Reynolds have all been named to make their returns from injury for the NRL’s 20th round, while troubled Parramatta playmaker Corey Norman remains sidelined.
Morgan will line up for North Queensland against Canterbury in Townsville on Thursday night in his first match since injuring his knee in State of Origin II.
Marshall returns against Wests Tigers on Sunday after missing St George Illawarra’s loss to Gold Coast last week with a hamstring complaint while Reynolds will play in South Sydney’s Monday night clash with Manly after overcoming a quad problem.
Norman was stood down for the Eels’ last-start loss to Penrith due to his drugs possession conviction and hasn’t been named for Parramatta’s match with Gold Coast on Saturday. Norman is due to face a disciplinary committee at the Eels probably this week due to a number of incidents.
Rookie centre Tom Opacic returns for Brisbane against Penrith on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium from a knee injury suffered in his first NRL game a month ago.
After missing Origin III for Queensland, Canberra forward Josh Papalii is back from a hip injury for the match with the Warriors at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
Utility Tuimoala Lolohea remains on the Warriors bench.
Michael Jennings will also miss out for the Eels due to a hamstring injury, Brad Takairangi replaces him in the centres.
Both Melbourne and Sydney Roosters are unchanged for their match at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Dan Gagai returns from a quad injury at fullback for Newcastle’s trip to the Shire on Sunday to face Cronulla. Utility Fa’amanu Brown drops out of the Sharks’ 17 to accommodate Andrew Fifita’s return from suspension.
Bryson Goodwin is also fit again for Souths. He has overcome an arm injury and will line up against the Sea Eagles at Allianz Stadium.