Melbourne star Billy Slater is set to play his first game since State of Origin II after being named for the Storm’s NRL season-opener against St George-Illawarra.
The Australian and Queensland fullback hasn’t played since injuring his shoulder in the second game of the interstate series last June but will line up against former Storm utility and new Dragons No.1 Kurt Mann.
Former bad boy Russell Packer will also appear for the first time in almost 1000 days after being picked to start at prop for the Dragons.
Parramatta captain Kieran Foran was also selected for their round-one clash with Brisbane despite speculation on Tuesday he was in doubt with a recurring hamstring problem.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett made just one change from the side that edged Wigan in the World Club Series a fortnight ago, handing Greg Eden his first-grade debut.
South Sydney’s 2014 premiership hero Sam Burgess will also play his first game since departing for rugby union, starting at prop in the absence of brothers George (suspension) and Tom (injury).
Cameron McInnes won the race to the No.9 jumper, with Damien Cook on the bench.
Boy wonder Latrell Mitchell will make his NRL debut in the centres for a depleted Sydney Roosters side missing recently sacked co-captain Mitchell Pearce (indefinite), Boyd Cordner (pec) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (knee).
Centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall has been named, just one day after being cleared of domestic assault charges, while youngsters Jayden Nikorima and Jackson Hastings are in the halves.
Manly custodian Brett Stewart has been named despite doubts over his hamstring, with Api Koroisau the starting rake and Matt Parcell on the bench.
The Sea Eagles host a Bulldogs outfit reeling from news that Brett Morris (knee) is out for a further four months. Big-name signing Will Hopoate will deputise at the back.
Canberra pivot Blake Austin is a shock starter from the bench for their season-opener against Penrith, with coach Ricky Stuart opting to ease the him back from shoulder surgery and going with Sam Williams to partner new buy Aidan Sezer in the halves.
New Panthers coach Anthony Griffin has gone with Will Smith to fill in for injured captain Matt Moylan (back), with Waqa Blake also coming in for Dean Whare (calf).
At the Wests Tigers, Jack Littlejohn gets the nod for suspended No.7 Luke Brooks to take on a Warriors side that has pushed Shaun Johnson to six to accommodate veteran halfback Jeff Robson.
Ben Barba has also beaten Jack Bird for the fullback spot at Cronulla, to take on a North Queensland 17 unchanged from the one that took out the premiership last year and the recent World Club Challenge.