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Surprising selections in opening NRL round

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017 Scott Bailey

KEY POINTS IN YOUR TEAM'S ROUND-ONE NRL SIDE:

CRONULLA V BRISBANE:

Gerard Beale is named at fullback for the Sharks, with Valentine Holmes unexpected to play as part of an extended bench. Jayden Brailey wins the bench spot as expected, while Tony Williams is named as 18th man. Wayne Bennett has opted for four forwards on the bench for Brisbane, with Kodi Nikorima named as a reserve. Tautau Moga is selected in the backline ahead of David Mead.

CANTERBURY V MELBOURNE:

Cameron Munster will play five-eighth for the Storm, with Young Tonumaipea named at fullback to replace Billy Slater, with playmaker Brodie Croft named in No.17. Promising outside back Curtis Scott is only listed as a reserve. Brenko Lee will play his first game for the Bulldogs, with Kerrod Holland outside him on the wing.

SOUTH SYDNEY V WESTS TIGERS:

George Burgess is set to be dropped for the Bunnies, named in No.20 on an extended bench and Zane Musgrove listed to start. Luke Kelly is named at halfback in place of injured Adam Reynolds, while Siosifa Talaki is in the centres. Matt Ballin not been picked in the Tigers' side, instead picked in reserve grade after undergoing serious knee surgery. Matt McIlwrick is named at hooker. Moses Suli is only listed as a reserve.

PENRITH V ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA:

Josh McCrone wins the battle for the open Dragons' playmaking role, named at No.7 alongside Gareth Widdop, while youngster Jai Field is also in the 17 on the bench. Mitch Rein misses selection almost entirely at Penrith, named in No.20 on an extended bench.

NORTH QUEENSLAND V CANBERRA:

The Cowboys are sweating on the fitness of Antonio Winterstein, named on the wing with Gideon Mosby-Gela, Javid Bowen and Kalyn Ponga all reserves outside the 17. Ben Hampton has been selected as bench utility. Elliott Whitehead is at centre for Canberra, in place of the injured Jarrod Croker for Canberra, with Nick Cotric.

GOLD COAST V SYDNEY ROOSTERS:

Tyrone Roberts is hooker for the Titans with Nathan Peats injured, while English import Joe Greenwood is named at No.17 just a week after signing from the Super League. Michael Gordon will play fullback for the Roosters, while Connor Watson and Ryan Matterson are on the bench in the first-choice 17.

WARRIORS V NEWCASTLE:

As expected, Brock Lamb is in the No.6 jersey for Newcastle while Dylan Phythian is elevated to fullback after debuting off the bench in the final two games of last year. For the Warriors, Ata Hingano is set to deputise in No.6 for Kieran Foran until he returns in round three.

MANLY V PARRAMATTA:

Brian Kelly is named to make his debut in the centres for the Sea Eagles, while Akuila Uate has beaten out Jonathan Wright to make his NRL return on the right wing. Nate Myles is relegated to the bench. Isaac De Gois is missing at hooker for Parramatta, with Kaysa Pritchard named in the No.9 and Cameron King only as a reserve outside of the 17.

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