WHAT TO LOOK FOR AT THIS WEEKEND’S NRL TRIALS
* CANTERBURY – Up to 35 players could turn out at Penrith on Saturday night for the Bulldogs, but all eyes will be on whether recruit Will Hopoate can re-find his early-career form.
* CRONULLA – Jack Bird gets the first crack at fullback on Sunday against Manly at Shark Park.
* GOLD COAST – Youngster Ashley Taylor will take charge of a senior team for the first time in the Titans’ Saturday night trial with Parramatta in Alice Springs.
* MANLY – Tim Moltzen will look to remind coach Trent Barrett he is ready to play his NRL match in three years if the Dylan Walker five-eighth experiment fails.
* MELBOURNE – Recruits Cheyse Blair and Jeremy Hawkins are likely to fight it out for the last backline spot when a low-key Storm side plays the Wests Tigers on Saturday at the Sunshine Coast.
* NEWCASTLE – Chanel Mata’utia and Nathan Ross will battle for a spot on the first grade wing when the pair turn out for the club’s NSW Cup home trial against Wentworthville on Saturday.
* PARRAMATTA – Against the Gold Coast, Kaysa Pritchard returns from a year-long absence forced by a pectoral injury and drug-related suspension.
* PENRITH – New captain Matt Moylan will make his first shift to the halves and spend 20 minutes as a playmaker and 20 minutes at fullback against the Bulldogs on Saturday night.
* SOUTH SYDNEY – The halves combination of Cody Walker and Luke Keary could become a head-to-head battle in the Charity Shield on Saturday against the Dragons.
* ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA – It’s already known Josh Dugan can play fullback or centre, but we should find out how Kurt Mann goes at the back in Saturday night’s Charity Shield.
* WARRIORS – Issac Luke plays his first game in Warriors colours on Saturday against a second-string Gold Coast side, but won’t have the chance to combine with Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who have been rested.
* WESTS TIGERS – With Matt Ballin likely to miss the first two months of the season, Robbie Farah’s quest to remind Jason Taylor he is a first grade hooker begins on Saturday against the Storm.
* The Sydney Roosters, Brisbane, Canberra and North Queensland only have reserve grade trials with little to no first grade implications.