IT’S A BIG WEEKEND OF NRL FOR …
* ADAM REYNOLDS – With Origin selection just around the corner, Reynolds makes his return from a broken jaw against the game’s best player in Johnathan Thurston. Throw in a Cowboys pack that includes representative stars Matt Scott, James Tamou and Jason Taumalolo, and a big Reynolds performance could put him in the box seat for Laurie Daley’s NSW No.7 jersey.
* KIERAN FORAN – Foran helped guide Manly to the 2011 title and six straight finals series, but that could easily be forgotten when he returns to Brookvale wearing the blue and gold of arch-rivals Parramatta on Thursday night. He’s been the catalyst for the Eels’ strong start to 2016, but there will be even more heat on him to perform up against his former teammates.
* WESTS TIGERS – After starting the season strongly they’ve dropped their past four games and desperately need to arrest the slide against an under-performing and injury-hit Melbourne side. But unless Ava Seumanufagai and Tim Grant step up to fill the shoes of injured forward Aaron Woods in style, their season could hit crisis point.
* ANDREW McFADDEN – No-one expected the Warriors to be 2-4, and the New Zealand based club have fired coaches after better starts. McFadden’s decision to return Shaun Johnson to halfback and Tuimoala Lolohea to No.6 should lead to more spark, but if it backfires against Canterbury his future will look even less certain ahead of a tough trip to Melbourne next week.
* THE SYDNEY ROOSTERS – After ending their 2016 drought last week, Monday night’s clash with Penrith is vital for the tri-colours. A win could propel them on a streak – with games against struggling trio St George Illawarra, Newcastle and the Gold Coast to follow. A loss here and all that momentum built up from last Friday could be lost.