Jarrod Mullen is set to provide hapless Newcastle with some welcome relief when he makes his long-awaited NRL return against Melbourne on Sunday.
The Knights five-eighth is set to make his comeback from a ruptured hamstring which has kept him sidelined since April.
After making just 10 appearances because of a toe problem last year, and managing just eight games so far this season, Mullen is hoping his long run of bad luck is at end.
He will also inject some much-needed confidence into Nathan Brown’s young side who are languishing at the bottom of the ladder with just one win.
This week Mullen admitted he’d considered giving the game away after being forced to undergo surgery twice in the last 12 months, but spoke of his desire to help them climb from last spot.
Meanwhile, Sydney Roosters playmaker Jackson Hastings may have played his last game for the club after he was dropped to reserve grade for the second time this year.
It’s understood the Roosters are shopping Hastings to other clubs with Ryan Matterson teaming with Mitchell Pearce in the halves to take on table toppers Cronulla on Monday.
The Sharks have named all five of their representative stars – Paul Gallen, Andrew Fifita, James Maloney, Jack Bird and Wade Graham – to back up from Origin III as they shoot for 14 wins in a row.
Young gun Tom Trbojevic has a chance to make a long-term claim for the Manly No.1 jumper when he was, as expected, named to replace Brett Stewart.
Stewart is set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury and his future is in doubt while Trbojevic looks set for an extended run and has a chance to make the jersey his own against the Warriors.
South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds will return from a back injury which ruled him out of State of Origin III for NSW.
In further good news for the Bunnies, Sam Burgess has been cleared of a knee injury and will take on Brisbane while his brother George has been named to return from a groin injury.
Winger Jordan Kahu has been named to make his return for the Broncos after missing the past month with a pectoral injury while Sam Thaiday returns from suspension.
Gold Coast have been boosted with halfback Ashley Taylor (groin) headlining a long list of big inclusions for their clash with St George along with David Mead, Nathan Friend, Eddy Pettybourne and Konrad Hurrell.
Brad Takairangi and Michael Jennings return to the Parramatta backline for their match with Penrith, the Eels hit hard by the loss of Semi Radradra to a knee injury.