Knights veteran forced to retire due to throat injury

Rory Kostjasyn

He may not have had an opportunity to don the Newcastle Knights jersey due to the unfortunate injury he sustained, but Rory Kostjaysn has made a decision to retire from the game to keep his health in his best interests.

It was during a pre-season training run in January that Kostjaysn sustained a throat injury and despite numerous surgeries to repair it, his airways have been narrowed.

In the end, after taking on board medical advice and listening to the demands of his body, Kostjaysn made the call to retire as a player from the game of rugby league.

“Retirement was a combination of medical advice and how my body was unable to adapt to a reduced airway,” Kostjasyn explained.

“It has by far been the most challenging six to seven months I’ve faced, not only in my career but in everyday life.

“Unfortunately, it’s a challenge that I’ve been unable to overcome.”

Kostjaysn played in 126 NRL games for the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys and admits that the notion of retirement has not fully sunk in yet.

“It hasn’t fully sunk in that I am retiring yet,” he added.

“I’m still frustrated every game day that I can’t run out and play. “When I reflect, I have been lucky to be a part of some great clubs and playing groups.

“I wasn’t fast, big or super skilful but I just worked very hard to do my job for my teammates.
“Apart from not getting to play for the Knights, I can’t think of too many regrets.”

As for his career highlights, Kostjaysn has two main ones; working under the tutelage of Craig Bellamy as a Storm youngster and premiership success with the Cowboys in 2015.

“My debut and being part of the Melbourne Storm system under Craig Bellamy was a privilege,” Kostjasyn explained.

“The 2015 Premiership and 2016 World Club Challenge with the Cowboys stand out for obvious reasons.

“That playing group made those years extremely enjoyable not only because of the success we had on the field, but the times we shared outside of footy.”

The retirement does not spell the end of Kostjaysn’s affiliation with rugby league, with the veteran to take up a role as an Elite Pathway Development Coach at the Knights to work with their U16’s and U18’s teams.

“I am looking forward to working alongside Scott Dureau, as we focus on developing some of the outstanding young talents in our junior squads,” he said.

“I am also excited to see our Club and the NRL squad progress, develop and succeed over the coming years.”

Kostjaysn praised the fans of all three clubs he has been associated with for their undying support.

“Thanks for the support from all the Members and fans at each Club I have played with; running out in front of a home crowd is an experience that cannot be replaced,” Kostjasyn said.

Roosters utility to depart at season’s end to join Knights

Connor Watson

In the end, it came down to the Wests Tigers or the Newcastle Knights and it was the Hunter-based club that got the upper hand, signing Sydney Roosters utility Connor Watson on a 3-year deal.

With an aim to play more regular first-grade football, Watson requested a release from the Roosters to achieve that goal.

Watson is however always grateful to the Roosters for what they have done in his career and is focussed on performing as well as he can for the remainder of the season.

“I’ll always be grateful to the Sydney Roosters for the opportunity they gave me, everything I’ve learned and all the friends I’ve made,” said Watson.

“It’s a really special Club and I’m just really focused on doing the best job I can for the Roosters for the rest of this season.”

The Roosters club are also grateful for the services Watson has provided to the club and know that opportunities are few and far between and so they granted his release request.

“Connor has requested an early release with the view of securing an opportunity to play in a starting position at another NRL club, and we have agreed to release him from the final year of his contract with the Roosters at the conclusion of the 2017 season,” said Sydney Roosters Recruitment Manager, Adam Hartigan.

“Having come through the Roosters pathway program, Connor has made a significant contribution across all aspects of the Club in his time here, and for that we thank him. We also look forward to Connor continuing to play a key role within our squad for the rest of this season.”

Watson’s stocks have gone from strength to strength after making the 2017 NRL Auckland Nines Team of the Year and representing Country in the City v Country match.

That, coupled with his ability, has the club excited to obtain his services.

“Connor is an exciting young talent who has plenty of great football ahead of him,” said Knights CEO Matt Gidley.

“There is no doubt Connor will grow with our team and be a great addition to the Club.”

 

 

Sharks veteran signs on for 2018 season

Paul Gallen

One of the club’s favourite sons of the modern era, fans will be pleased to hear and know that veteran Paul Gallen will go around again in 2018 after signing a new 1-year deal.

Approaching the 300-game milestone fresh off fellow team-mate Luke Lewis reaching the milestone, his form this year was enough to convince Gallen that another year was a feasible option.

“I’m very happy to sign for another year,” Gallen said.”If I was a betting man you would probably say

“If I was a betting man you would probably say it’s my last contract, but you never say never and I’m enjoying my football at the moment.

“I haven’t had any issues with the body this year, I think retiring my rep footy has been a plus for my body, but also for my mind.”

2018 will mark an 18th season for the Sharks veteran who made his debut with the club in 2001 and has since gone to play in 297 games as well as 32 Tests for Australia and 24 games for NSW.

Although the focus is still on the 2017 season, Gallen pointed out the club’s promising rookies and juniors as well as the signing of Josh Dugan as a sign the club is moving forward in the right direction.

“This year is the big focus but if you look at the squad for next year, most if not all the boys will be here and we will be adding Josh Dugan,” continued Gallen.

“We’ve also got some really good young players coming up.

“The future is looking really good for the club.”

Eels re-sign utility duo to strengthen squad depth

Will Smith

Neither is a household name by any means but all players have a role to play and with depth so crucial in the modern rugby league team, the Parramatta Eels have re-signed utility Will Smith and utility back Nathan Davis, both for the 2018 season.

After battling a leg injury in 2016 that limited his game-time, Smith drew praise from coach Brad Arthur for the way he fought back, recovered and has since become a mainstay in the Eels system.

“Will Smith has been a good addition to the team this year after coming back from a serious injury in 2016,” said Arthur.

“He has been a good contributor to the NRL team so far and I am pleased that he has re-signed with the Club for 2018.”

As for Davis, the young utility back is still a work in progress but Arthur is hopeful that with the right guidance, his development can improve in the years to come.

“Nathan has been a solid performer since returning to us midseason,” continued Arthur.

“We look forward to him developing further in 2018 and providing strong competition for positions across the backline.”

“Both have fit in really well to our NRL squad and we hope to see more of them in the future.”

Nathan Davis

NRL Teams Rd 20

Well, there are no bye rounds and the battle for the top eight spots continues. Although many believe that the current top eight are set in stone, some teams will have something to say about that as those in the eight fight and claw their way towards a guaranteed berth. 

Just who will come out on top this week in an entertaining week of fixtures, time will tell.

In the meantime, we have you covered with all 16 NRL games named right here so sit back, relax and enjoy the coverage!

The teams for Round 20 of the NRL Telstra Premiership are:

Brisbane Broncos v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLbricby); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Thursday, July 20. Kick-off: 7:50 pm.

Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Jonus Pearson 3. Tautau Moga 4. James Roberts 5. Jordan Kahu 6. Anthony Milford 7. Ben Hunt 8. Korbin Sims 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Adam Blair (C) 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire.

Interchange: 14. Sam Thaiday 15. Tevita Pangai Junior 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Benji Marshall.

Reserves: 18. Jai Arrow 19. Jaydn Su’A 20. Tom Opacic 21. Kodi Nikorima.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Bulldogs: 1.  Will Hopoate 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morros 4. Chase Stanley 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman (C) 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Danny Fualalo 11. Josh Jackson 12. Adam Elliott 13. David Klemmer.

Interchange: 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 16. Francis Tualau 17. Matt Frawley.

Reserves: 19. Andy Saunders 20. Kerrod Holland 21. Asipeli Fine 23. Brenko Lee.

Coach: Des Hasler.


Sydney Roosters v Newcastle Knights (#NRLsydnew); Allianz Stadium, Moore Park; Friday, July 21. Kick-off: 6 pm.

Roosters: 1. Connor Watson 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Luke Keary 7. Mitch Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (C) 9. Mitch Cornish 10. Dylan Napa 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Mitchell Aubusson (C) 13. Isaac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Kane Evans 15. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 16. Aidan Guerra 17. Victor Radley.

Reserves: 18. Zane Tetevano 19. Grant Garvey 20. Chris Smith 21. Nat Butcher.

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Knights: 1. Nathan Ross 2. Chanel Mata’utia 3. Dane Gagai 4. Peter Mata’utia 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Brock Lamb 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Danny Levi 10. Josh King 11. Sione Mata’utia 12. Joe Wardle 13. Mitchell Barnett.

Interchange: 14. Jamie Buhrer (C) 15. Mickey Paea 16. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 17. Luke Yates.

Reserves: 18. Jack Cogger 19. Sam Stone 20. Ken Sio 21. Brendan Elliott.

Coach: Nathan Brown.


Cronulla Sharks v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NRLcrosou); Southern Cross Group Stadium, Cronulla; Friday, July 21. Kick-off: 7:50 pm.

Sharks: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jack Bird 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Gerard Beale 6. James Maloney 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Fa’amanu Brown 10. Matt Prior 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen (C).

Interchange: 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Chris Heighington 16. Sam Tagataese 17. James Segeyaro.

Reserves: 18. Jeremy Latimore 19. Kurt Capewell 20. Edrick Lee 21. Joseph Paulo .

Coach: Shane Flanagan.

Rabbitohs: 1. Cody Walker 2. Alex Johnston 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Robert Jennings 5. Aaron Gray 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Robbie Farah 10. David Tyrrell 11. Tyrell Fuimaono 12. Angus Crichton 13. Sam Burgess (C).

Interchange: 14. Damien Cook 15. Jason Clark 16. Zane Musgrove 17. George Burgess.

Reserves: 18. Anthony Cherrington 19. Kyle Turner 20. Braidon Burns 22. Cameron Murray.

Coach: Michael Maguire.


Penrith Panthers v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLpengld); Pepper Stadium, Penrith; Saturday, July 22. Kick-off: 3 pm.

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Waqa Blake 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Matt Moylan (C) 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9.  Peter Wallace 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Moses Leota.

Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa 15. Leilani Latu 16. Tim Browne 17. James Fisher-Harris.

Reserves: 18. Tyrone May 19. Viliame Kikau 20. Sitaleki Akauola 21. Mitch Rein.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.

Titans: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Anthony Don 3. Dale Copley 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. Will Zillman 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Ryan James (C) 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Joe Greenwood 13. Max King. 

Interchange: 14. Morgan Boyle 15. Agnatius Paasi 16. Nathaniel Peteru 17. Leivaha Pulu.

Reserves: 18. Kane Elgey 19. Pat Politoni 20. John Olive 21. Jamal Fogarty.

Coach: Neil Henry.


Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm (#NRLcanmel); GIO Stadium; Saturday, July 22. Kick-off: 5:30 pm.

Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Junior Paulo 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Joseph Tapine 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Iosia Soliola. 

Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Luke Bateman 16. David Taylor 17. Michael Oldfield.

Reserves: 18. Royce Hunt 19. Erin Clark 20. Liam Knight 21. Scott Sorenson.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith (C) 10. Tim Glasby 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Tohu Harris 13. Dale Finucane. 

Interchange: 14. Kenneath Bromwich 15. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 16. Nate Myles 17. Joe Stimson.

Reserves: 18. Mark Nicholls 19. Curtis Scott 20. Slade Griffin 21. Robbie Rochow.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.


North Queensland Cowboys v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLnqlwar); Saturday, July 22. Kick-off: 7:30 pm.

Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Michael Morgan 8. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 11. Gavin Cooper (C) 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo. 

Interchange: 14. Ben Hampton 15. Coen Hess 16. Shaun Fensom 17. Corey Jensen.

Reserves: 18. Braden Uele 19. Kyle Laybutt 20. Kalyn Ponga 21. Javid Bowen.

Coach: Paul Green.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C) 2. David Fusitua 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kieran Foran 7. Mason Lino 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Issac Luke 10. Ben Matulino 11. Bodene Thompson 12. Bunty Afoa 13. Simon Mannering. 

Interchange: 14. Ata Hingano 15. Sam Lisone 16. James Gavet 17. Ligi Sao.

Reserves: 18. Jazz Tevaga 20. Tevita Satae 21. Isaiah Papalii 22. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad.

Coach: Stephen Kearney.


St George Illawarra Dragons v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLsgiman); Sunday, July 23. Kick-off: 2 pm.

Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop (C) 7. Josh McCrone 8. Leeson Ah Mau 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin. 

Interchange: 14. Tariq Sims 15. Jacob Host 16. Blake Lawrie 17. Kurt Mann.

Reserves: 18. Matthew Dufty 19. Taane Milne 20. Russell Packer 21. Jake Marketo.

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Manly: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Brad Parker 3. Dylan Walker 4. Brian Kelly 5. Akuila Uate 6. Blake Green 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (C) 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Cameron Cullen 10. Marty Taupau 11. Frank Winterstein 12. Shaun Lane 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Jackson Hastings 15. Lloyd Perrett 16. Darcy Lussick 17. Addin Fonua-Blake.

Reserves: 18. Jarrad Kennedy 19. Joey Lussick 20. Lewis Brown 21. Jonathan Wright.

Coach: Trent Barrett.


Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels (#NRLwstpar); Sunday, July 23. Kick-off: 4 pm.

Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 4. Moses Suli 5. Kevin Naiqama 6. Tuimoala Lolohea 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods (C) 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Chris Lawrence 12. Joel Edwards 13. Elijah Taylor. 

Interchange: 14. Matthew Eisenhuth 15. Alex Twal 16. Michael Chee-Kam 17. Tim Grant.

Reserves: 18. JJ Felise 19. Jack Littlejohn 20. Kyle Lovett 21. Josh Aloiai.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Bevan French 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitch Moses 8. Siosaia Vave 9. Cameron King 10. Tim Mannah (C) 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown.

Interchange: 14. Daniel Alvaro 15. Kenny Edwards 16. Suaia Matagi 17. Will Smith.

Reserves: 18. David Gower 19. Peni Terepo 20. Kirisome Auva’a 21. John Folau.

Coach: Brad Arthur.


 

Knights strengthen back-line with signing of Moga

Tautau Moga

Keen to show that they will mean business in the years to come, the Newcastle Knights have signed powerful centre Tautau Moga on a 3-year deal from the 2018 season.

At the Brisbane Broncos, Moga has enjoyed a resurgence in his career in 2017 after previous injuries threatened to derail it.

His form has seen him become a mainstay of the Broncos side and the Knights organisation are pleased to have him on board.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Tautau to the Knights next season,” CEO Matt Gidley said.

“Tautau is an athletic and exciting outside back and he will be a great addition to our squad.”

Moga joins fellow new signings Kalyn Ponga and Aidan Guerra for the 2018 season as well as mid-season signing Shaun Kenny Dowall.

The signing is not done yet, though, as Gidley reveals that the fans can expect further announcements.

“We continue to build our squad for next season and beyond and plan to have further announcements over the coming weeks,” Gidley said.

 

Saga over as Titans hooker puts pen to paper and signs new deal

Nathan Peats

Fresh off a maiden Origin series – albeit one that ended in a not-so-good fashion – Nathan Peats has something to cheer about, having re-signed with the Gold Coast Titans until the end of the 2020 season.

Since joining the club at the midpoint of the 2016 season, Peats has transitioned into the side well and has become the mainstay in the hooker position during that time.

Although the process took longer than he had perhaps anticipated, Peats is just pleased to have his future sorted and to stay at the Titans.

“It’s great to have my future sorted here at the Titans,” Peats said. “It’s been a bit of a process but I’m happy to have it done and to know I’ll be here for another three years is really pleasing.

“It’s been a bit of a process but I’m happy to have it done and to know I’ll be here for another three years is really pleasing.”

Peats is also looking forward to further years of playing alongside his team-mates as the Titans hope to achieve special things as a football team.

“It’s been a big year but with everything now sorted, I’m looking forward to focusing on the remainder of this season and my future here with the Titans,” continued Peats.

“We’ve got a good bunch of guys here and a number of young players that have a bright future in the game. It’ll be good to be part of this team and we’ll be looking to do some good things over the next few years.”

Peats’ development as a player has not gone unnoticed and he was rewarded with his first Origin appearances, as Titans coach Neil Henry praises the live-wire hooker.

“Nathan has developed as a player and that has shown with his NSW selection this year,” Henry said. “He is one of those players that his team mates want to play with and he always plays with plenty of passion and commitment.”

“He is one of those players that his team mates want to play with and he always plays with plenty of passion and commitment.”

“He is a great trainer, prepares thoroughly and always competes on the field. His attitude and leadership will help the Titans grow as a club in the coming years.”

Sharks strengthen back-line stocks with signing of Bunnies utility back

Aaron Gray

Certain reports had him linked with a move away in light of the emergence of other talented backs and the move has now eventuated, with Aaron Gray to join the Cronulla Sharks on a 2-year deal from 2018.

The current South Sydney Rabbitohs utility back has so far played 39 games for the Bunnies and scored 16 tries in that time.

A Mascot Jets junior, Gray also made an appearance for City in the 2016 City v Country clash and praised Souths for the opportunities they gave to him.

“I want to give massive thanks to Souths for giving me a start and for what they’ve done for me and we certainly want to finish this season strongly, but I’m also really excited and very much looking forward to the new opportunity at the Sharks next year,” Gray said.

Equally pleased is Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, who looks forward to having Gray at the club from 2018.

“Aaron has had a few injuries, which means he’s had a few false starts in his career, but I’m looking forward to having him on board next year,” Flanagan said. “He can play wing or centre, is a powerful runner, very skilful and is experienced for a young bloke.”

“He can play wing or centre, is a powerful runner, very skilful and is experienced for a young bloke.”

Despite his move away from Souths, Gray says that he will always have the club in his heart.

“I will forever be grateful for the opportunity Souths has given me to represent this great Club and for the trust they placed in me to wear the famous jersey with the respect it deserves.

“I’ll have a fresh start at the new club but I’ll always have the Rabbitohs in my heart.”

NRL Rd 19 Teams

The last bye round before we hit the genuine back-end of the season. With somewhat of a gap starting to form between those in the eight and those outside it, the mathematical chances and possibilities of making the finals start to creep in.
For some teams, solidifying their spots is the key whereas, for others, they just have to win to have any hope.

With some key games on this weekend, here are the sides for Rd 19 of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

New Zealand Warriors v Penrith Panthers (#NRLwarpen); Manu Vatuvei Stadium, Auckland; Friday, July 16. Kick-off: 6 pm.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C) 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kieran Foran 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Issac Luke 10. Ben Matulino 11. Bodene Thompson 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Simon Mannering.

Interchange: 14. Ata Hingano 15. Sam Lisone 16. James Gavet 17. Ligi Sao 18. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad 20. Tevita Satae 22. Jazz Tevaga 24. Mason Lino.

Coach: Stephen Kearney.

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Waqa Blake 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Matt Moylan (C) 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Mitch Rein 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin.

Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa 15. Leilani Latu 16. Tim Browne 17. James Fisher-Harris 18. Moses Leota 19. Tyrone May 20. Viliame Kikau 21. Sitaleki Akauola.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.


Canberra Raiders v St George Illawarra Dragons (#NRLcansgi); GIO Stadium, Canberra; Friday, July 16. Kick-off: 7:50 pm.

Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Junior Paulo 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Josh Papalii 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Iosia Soliola 

Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Luke Bateman 16. David Taylor 17. Joseph Tapine 18. Michael Oldfield 19. Erin Clark 20. Clay Priest 21. Royce Hunt

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Dragons: 1. Jason Nightingale 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Taane Milne 4. Tim Lafai 5. Kurt Mann 6. Gareth Widdop (C) 7. Josh McCrone 8. Russell Packer 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Leeson Ah Mau 11. Tariq Sims 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Jack de Belin.

Interchange: 14. Jacob Host 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Hame Sele 17. Matthew Dufty 18. Jake Marketo 19. Josh Dugan 20. Luciano Leilua 21. Paul Vaughan 22. Will Matthews.

Coach: Paul McGregor.


Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos (#NRLnewbri); McDonald Jones Stadium; Saturday, July 17. Kick-off: 5:30 pm.

Knights: 1. Nathan Ross 2. Chanel Mata’utia 3. Dane Gagai 4. Peter Mata’utia 5. Brendan Elliott 6. Brock Lamb 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Danny Levi 10. Josh King 11. Sione Mata’utia 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Mitchell Barnett.

Interchange: 14. Jamie Buhrer (C) 15. Luke Yates 16. Joe Wardle 17. Jacob Saifiti 18. Sam Stone 19. Jacob Gagan 20. Tyler Randell 21. Mickey Paea.

Coach: Nathan Brown.

Broncos: 1. Jordan Kahu 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. James Roberts 4. Tautau Moga 5. Jonus Pearson 6. Benji Marshall 7. Ben Hunt 8. Korbin Sims 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Adam Blair (C) 11. Sam Thaiday 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire. 

Interchange: 14. Alex Glenn 15. Tevita Pangai Jr. 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Kodi Nikorima 18. Salesi Funaki 19. Jai Arrow 20. Jaydn Su’A 21. Anthony Milford 22. Marion Seve.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.


Gold Coast Titans v Cronulla Sharks (#NRLgldcro); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Saturday, July 17. Kick-off: 7:30 pm. 

Titans: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Anthony Don 3. Dale Copley 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. William Zillman 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Ryan James (C) 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Joe Greenwood 13. Max King. 

Interchange: 14. Pat Politoni 15. Morgan Boyle 16. Agnatius Paasi 17. Nathaniel Peteru 18. Paterika Vaivai 19. John Olive 20. Karl Lawton 21. Leivaha Pulu 22. Jamal Fogarty.

Coach: Neil Henry.

Sharks: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jack Bird 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Gerard Beale 6. James Maloney 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Fa’amanu Brown 10. Matt Prior 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen (C).

Interchange: 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Chris Heighington 16. Sam Tagataese 17. Kurt Capewell 18. Joseph Pauli 19. James Segeyaro 20. Jesse Ramien 21. Jeremy Latimore 22. Edrick Lee 23. Billy Magoulias.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.


Manly Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers (#NRLmanwst); Lottoland, Brookvale; Sunday, July 18. Kick-off: 2 pm.

Manly: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Matthew Wright 3. Dylan Walker 4. Brian Kelly 5. Akuila Uate 6. Blake Green 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Marty Taupau 11. Frank Winterstein 12. Shaun Lane 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Cameron Cullen 15. Lloyd Perrett 16. Darcy Lussick 17. Addin Fonua-Blake 18. Jarrad Kennedy 19. Jonathan Wright 20. Brad Parker 21. Jackson Hastings.

Coach: Trent Barrett.

Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 4. Moses Suli 5. Kevin Naiqama 6. Tuimoala Lolohea 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods (C) 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Ava Seumanufagai 11. Chris Lawrence 12. Sauaso Sue 13. Elijah Taylor. 

Interchange: 14. Matthew Eisenhuth 15. Joel Edwards 16. Michael Chee-Kam 17. Matt McIlwrick 18. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 19. Jack Littlejohn 20. Kyle Lovett 21. Alex Twal.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.


South Sydney Rabbitohs v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLsounql); Barlow Park, Cairns; Sunday, July 18. Kick-off: 4 pm.

Rabbitohs: 1. Cody Walker 2. Alex Johnston 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Aaron Gray 5. Robert Jennings 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Robbie Farah 10. David Tyrrell 11. Tyrell Fuimaono 12. Angus Crichton 13. Sam Burgess (C).

Interchange: 14. Damien Cook 15. Jason Clark 16. Zane Musgrove 17. George Burgess 18. Anthony Cherrington 19. Kyle Turner 20. Jack Gosiewski 22. Cameron Murray.

Coach: Michael Maguire.

Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Michael Morgan 8. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton (C) 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo. 

Interchange: 14. Ben Hampton 15. Coen Hess 16. Shaun Fensom 17. Corey Jensen 18. Patrick Mago 19. Kyle Laybutt 20. Kalyn Ponga 21. Braden Uele 22. Javid Bowen.

Coach: Paul Green.


 

Young British forward jumps ship to Australia and signs with Brisbane

Andre Savelio

Compared to Sonny Bill Williams by some is a big remark to live up but that is the comparison provide when talking about new Brisbane Broncos signing, Andre Savelio.

Currently playing with the Warrington Wolves in the Super League, Savelio has played 63 games for St Helens, Castleford and the Wolves, and comes with some pedigree having represented England at numerous junior levels.

With every club needing forward depth, the Broncos have seen Savelio play in the past and felt that signing him was a good option for the club.

“Andre is a strong young forward and we have seen first-hand what he can do on the field in England,” said White.

“He is an exciting young prospect that will add depth to our forward stocks.

“We welcome Andre into the Broncos’ family and look forward to him joining the club at the conclusion of his commitments this season.”

As for Savelio, he believes he is ready for the opportunity ahead of him.

“I have spoken to Brisbane a few times and I just thought now was the time as I feel more than ready to do it,” he said.

“A lot of English forwards have done well in the NRL, so it was always something I had thought about.”

Always harbouring an ambition to make a name for himself in the NRL, Savelio admits that if it was going to be any club, it was the Broncos.

“And I always thought the Broncos would be the team I wanted to go to if I did do it,” continued the 22-year-old.

“Now I am just excited to get down there.”

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