Penrith will welcome the return of key men Peter Wallace and Josh Mansour from injuries for Friday night’s derby against Parramatta.
Wallace had been out since round five after undergoing knee surgery, whereas Mansour had missed the past month with a similar complaint.
It’s a massive boost for the Panthers ahead of their clash with arch rivals Parramatta, who have recalled Chris Sandow at halfback just one week after his stint at fullback.
Eels coach Brad Arthur also made changes in his forward pack, where Joseph Paulo and Daniel Alvaro got the nod ahead of Richie Fa’aoso and the injured Peni Terepo on the bench.
But it’s the Panthers who will be buoyed by the reunion of their starting halves after using nine combinations over the past nine weeks.
Ivan Cleary’s side have been ravaged by injuries over the opening ten rounds, limiting the Panthers to just 16 points over the past two weeks.
“I think we’ve had around 10 different pairs of halves already this year. Obviously attack’s a problem,” hooker James Segeyaro told AAP.
“Once we have a stable halves with Peter coming back, Jamie (Soward), me and Matt Moylan, once we get that into shape, we’ll be able to transfer what we’re doing on the training paddock to the game.
“The attack will come.”
Titans winger Kevin Gordon gets an opportunity against South Sydney to reclaim his status as the club’s greatest tryscorer after being named to replace the injured David Mead, while George Burgess has been pushed to the bench in favour of twin Thomas.
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire has also re-inserted Issac Luke into the run-on side while the Maroons’ Greg Inglis has been named and winger Joel Reddy was dumped.
Canberra’s Sam Williams returns to the NRL after his dramatic hospitalisation with a collapsed lung in round nine, with Jack Wighton also returning from his sore back.
The Raiders host a Broncos outfit that has named all six of their Origin players to back-up.
North Queensland also welcome back their quartet of Origin stars against a Manly side that will still be missing the injured Daly Cherry-Evans. Kieran Foran has been named at halfback.
The other big ins for the shortened round 12 include the Warriors’ Sam Tomkins and Newcastle’s Adam Clydsdale.
Canterbury and Wests Tigers have the bye.