WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN SATURDAY’S NRL TRIALS
CANTERBURY VS PENRITH – BELMORE 6PM
The Bulldogs have spots open in the backs and Marcelo Montoya, Kerrod Holland and Tyrone Phillips will be keen to impress in a Bulldogs team that includes Will Hopoate, Brett Morris and Josh Reynolds. Meanwhile Mitch Rein runs out in Penrith colours for the first time as part of what is largely a reserve grade squad. Rein is likely to be starting hooker for the Panthers come round one, but could lose game time to Peter Wallace.
SOUTH SYDNEY VS MANLY, CAMPBELLTOWN – 7.30PM
Blake Green and Daly Cherry-Evans will have their first chance to gel together with a near full-strength Sea Eagles line-up. Lloyd Perrett also gets a chance to press his claims for a round-one jersey, named to start in the forwards. South Sydney have named a far less experienced side, but newly recruited up-and-comers Robert Jennings and Tyrell Fuimaono have their first chance to press for a first-grade spot.
MELBOURNE VS WARRIORS, SUNSHINE COAST – 5PM
Tuimoala Lolohea is expected to play on the wing for the Warriors, meaning Mason Lino will have a chance to audition for the five-eighth spot alongside Shaun Johnson if Kieran Foran is cleared to play by round one. Ata Hingano and Erin Clark are the other young halves named. Meanwhile for Melbourne, teenager Curtis Scott gets a chance to cement a starting spot in the backline and Brodie Croft can build on his Auckland Nines form in the halves alongside Cooper Cronk.
NORTH QUEENSLAND VS SYDNEY ROOSTERS, MACKAY – 7pm
Kalyn Ponga has another chance to push for a round-one spot in North Queensland’s backline, while uncapped forward Braden Uele can press his claims for the vacant prop role on the bench. Luke Keary gets his first chance to cement the No.6 position in Roosters’ colours – he’ll be partnered by Jayden Nikorima in the halves. Michael Gordon will also play No.1, but will have to do a lot to keep Latrell Mitchell out of the position come next month.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA VS WESTS TIGERS, WOLLONGONG – 7.40PM
Jai Field and Josh McCrone have both been named in the halves for the Dragons, offering the chance for a virtual shoot-out to partner Gareth Widdop come round one. Jamal Idris plays his first game of rugby league for more than a year for the Tigers, while Matt McIlwrick has a chance to impress in the vacant hooking role.
PARRAMATTA VS GOLD COAST, ALICE SPRINGS – 7.40PM
Kane Elgey makes his return to rugby league after more than a year on the sideline with a knee injury. He’ll play No.7 as he aims to return to a full-time starting spot in the Titans’ halves. There is no Bevan French or Clinton Gutherson for the Eels as they take up full-time roles in the spine this year, but Isaac de Gois and Kaysa Pritchard will both spend time at hooker in Alice Springs as they make their case to start come round one. De Gois is favoured to keep the position.