James Maloney will make his Penrith debut in a trial against his old NRL club the Sydney Roosters.Kieran Foran has been named to make his Canterbury debut but fans will have to wait a little longer to see Aaron Woods in Bulldogs colours.
Warriors recruit Foran was among the big names unveiled in NRL trials teams on Tuesday, along with NSW playmaker James Maloney, who will make his Penrith debut this weekend.
Foran will run out in the Bulldogs’ new-look spine – also featuring Moses Mbye at fullback – against Canberra in Saturday’s trial on the Sunshine Coast.
And Maloney will combine with Nathan Cleary for the first time when the Panthers host Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.
However, ex-Wests Tigers skipper Woods will be among the glaring no-shows this weekend after being rested for the Bulldogs clash due to hamstring soreness.
New South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold has opted to keep his powder dry for Saturday night’s trial against English heavyweights Wigan, resting Greg Inglis, Dane Gagai, Sam Burgess and Angus Crichton.
Youngster Adam Doueihi has been named in the Rabbitohs halves with veteran rake Robbie Farah.
“We’ve got a little bit of experience in guys like Robbie Farah, Tom and George (Burgess), Damien Cook and Alex Johnston but they’ll only play limited minutes,” Seibold said.
Manly coach Trent Barrett was also wary of showing a full hand, overlooking captain Daly Cherry-Evans, Jake and Tom Trbojevic, Martin Taupau, Apisai Koroisau and Akuila Uate for Saturday’s clash with Cronulla.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney also sidelined his stars, brushing recruits Tohu Harris, Adam Blair, Gerard Beale and Blake Green and resting Shaun Johnson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke for Saturday’s clash with Melbourne at Rotorua.
At Wests Tigers, Benji Marshall was the club’s only NRL squad member not picked for Saturday night’s trial with North Queensland in Cairns.
Tigers coach Ivan Cleary named recruits Ben Matulino, Chris McQueen, Corey Thompson, Josh Reynolds and Russell Packer in his 30-strong squad.
“We’re trying to mix it up and make sure that everyone gets a decent amount of game time under their belt this week,” Cleary said.
Cowboys leader Johnathan Thurston has been named to make his NRL return from injury – along with co-captain Matt Scott – but his recovering shoulder must get a final clearance from a specialist on Thursday.
Sam Thaiday will skipper Brisbane in the absence of Darius Boyd (hamstring) in Saturday night’s trial against Gold Coast Titans in Toowoomba.
Fiji international Korbin Sims has been named by Brisbane for his first game since breaking his arm before the 2017 NRL finals.
At Canberra, Siliva Havili and Craig Garvey will vie for the vacant No.9 jersey in the absence of Josh Hodgson after being named for the Raiders’ trial with the Bulldogs.
Havili and Garvey are the frontrunners for the hooker role after English international Hodgson was ruled out until at least July with a knee injury.