Early team news for Round 16
Mon 1 Jul 2019, 03:54 PM
Benji Marshall will likely lead Wests Tigers on Friday night as Michael Maguire’s side look to record their third win in a row when they take on the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium.
It was Marshall who captained Wests Tigers in Round 11 when Moses Mbye sat out with injury, and the veteran playmaker will likely assume the captaincy duties once again with the regular skipper unavailable due to State of Origin commitments.
On field, Maguire’s options are open for who will take Mbye’s centre spot.
Paul Momirovski was the man who filled in for the Queensland representative back in Round 11 and looms as a possible inclusion with Mahe Fonua (foot) out injured, but Maguire does have alternatives in Michael Chee Kam and Tommy Talau.
Chee Kam was once again the man of the moment after scoring the match-winner last week, and actually replaced Mbye at centre during Round 15 when he went off field for a concussion test, while Talau’s recent promotion from his Development contract to the Top 30 NRL squad means he is eligible for selection this week.
Chee-Kam scores the match-winner again
Elsewhere, Josh Aloiai should be in line to return after sitting out last week with illness with Oliver Clark coming in to the side on game day as his replacement.
Aloiai had initially been named to start at prop with Ben Matulino (knee) injured.
Likely to be selected as part of the Blues squad for Game Three, Ryan Matterson’s inclusion for Wests Tigers could come down to Tuesday night’s Judiciary hearing with St. George-Illawarra Dragons forward Tariq Sims pleading not guilty to his late tackle on Michael Morgan, which threatens to rule him out for Game Three.
If Sims is found guilty, Matterson could come on to the bench for what would be his Origin debut, but that would rule him out for Wests Tigers this week.
Sims’ hearing is scheduled to begin from 7:00pm AEST on Tuesday, July 2.
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For the Roosters, Coach Trent Robinson is set to welcome back a number of key players for Friday’s game against Wests Tigers as the Tricolours look to end a tough run of form that has seen them win just one of their past five matches.
Captain Jake Friend (biceps) and Luke Keary (concussion) are both a chance of returning from long-term injuries, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (hamstring), Ryan Hall (personal) and Sitili Tupouniua (illness) are all expected to be included.
Keary had originally been listed to return in next Sunday’s game against the North Queensland Cowboys on the Central Coast for his comeback date, but has passed all return to play protocols and completed three weeks of contact training unscathed.
Friend is considered to return this week, but is still considered a chance to play.
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With James Tedesco and Boyd Cordner both unavailable due to State of Origin duties, Joseph Manu looms as the man likely to switch back to fullback while Mitchell Aubusson and Nat Butcher could both be in line to start the game.
Both teams will name their 21-man squads for Round 16 at 4:00pm AEST on Tuesday before omitting two players each 24 hours before kickoff.
Final team lists will be confirmed one hour before kickoff (6:55pm, Friday).