Moses, Brooks in doubt for NRL trial
From ESPN 1:20 PM AEDT Matt Encarnacion
Wests Tigers halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks are likely to head into their NRL season-opener without playing a minute of the club’s trial games due to injury.
Both players are in doubt for the Tigers’ final trial against North Queensland on Saturday after Moses suffered a heel injury in the All Stars game and Brooks got his wisdom teeth pulled out.
Moses was in a moon boot as he sat out Monday’s training session, and while he wants to play against the Cowboys in Campbelltown, he is unlikely to risk further injury.
The Tigers five-eighth hurt his foot early for the World All Stars in the annual fixture against the Indigenous All Stars and while he came back on, failed to finish the match.
“It’s nothing bad, just precautionary. I should be right this week to play but if it’s not right, I’ll definitely be sweet for round one anyway. It’s just to take the weight of my heel,” he said.
"I wouldn’t mind (a game), just to get a go with the boys. Against the Cowboys as well, that’ll allow us to see where we’re at and how we’ve trained.
“It’d be good to get a game in, but it’s not the end of the world.”
While the pair are almost certain to meet South Sydney in round one, the Tigers face a number of injury problems leading up to the clash at ANZ Stadium on March 3.
Veteran hooker Matt Ballin is racing the clock on his return from a second straight knee reconstruction, while back-up rake Jacob Liddle missed their last trial with a shoulder issue.
Their uncertain status could mean an unlikely call-up for late signing Matt McIlwrick, while utility Justin Hunt was also sporting a moon boot at Concord.
Ballin also confirmed he is unlikely to trial and is 50-50 for round one.
“I’ve been out doing field sessions for the last month, pretty much full field sessions. Contact’s been more so lately and it feels strong,” he said.
“At the moment I feel really confident with it. It’ll just depend on availability and what they want to do. The conservative road would be reserve grade then first grade after that.”