The Bulldogs will be without star enforcer Luke Thompsondue to a positive Covid diagnosis, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Broncos star Selwyn Cobbo won’t play in Thursday’s must-win clash with the Eels with coach Kevin Walters revealing the 19-year-old is “fatigued” and has requested to sit out.
It comes after it was reported that Cobbo was training with the Broncos’ reserves and Jordan Peirera had taken his spot on the wing.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Walters spoke to the media on Tuesday to clear up that Cobbo had not been dropped — instead he will be rested after raising his concerns to the coach this week.
“He’s just a bit fatigued,” Walters said.
“He came and saw me earlier in the week and thought he might progress a little quicker than what he has but he’s not right to go so we’ll put Jordan Peirera in.
“He’ll play, he’s done a good job for us when he’s come into the side at different times throughout the year. He’s really itching and hungry to get out there so it’s good news.”
Asked if there were any disciplinary issues behind Cobbo’s absence, Walters said: “No, nothing there. He’s just fatigued.
“He’s a young fella, he’s had a big season with Origin and the like. He should be right for next week against the Dragons but this week we’ll give him a spell and get him right for next week,” he added.
Cobbo has enjoyed a breakout season that’s included 17 games for the Broncos and a State of Origin debut. But he’s also battled concussion issues after suffering a sickening head knock in Origin III.
The towering winger missed a month of footy before returning for the Broncos in Round 21.
Walters confirmed Cobbo’s rest has nothing to do with concussion, reiterating that “he’s just genuinely fatigued, he’s a young bloke and as I said he’s had a big season… he’s just a bit tired.”
“It shows how honest Selwyn is with himself and the club so it’s a big call but those calls have got to be made,” Walters added.
The Broncos are sitting eighth and need to win their final two games to guarantee a finals spot, but even so, Walters said it wasn’t a hard decision to sit Cobbo out of Thursday’s game against the fifth-placed Eels.
“We always our players’ interests at heart and what’s best for the player,” he said.
“He just didn’t come up to where he needed to be this week so we’ll leave him out and give him a spell.”
Read on for all of the Late Mail ahead of Round 24.
Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium, 7.50pm AEDT
Broncos team: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 19. Jordan Pereira 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 16. Corey Jensen 14. Billy Walters 15. Kobe Hetherington 21. Keenan Palasia 22. Zac Hosking 18. Delouise Hoeter 20. Tyson Gamble
Players cut: 5. Selwyn Cobbo 13. Ryan James 17. Rhys Kennedy
Late Mail:Star winger Selwyn Cobbo wont play after coach Kevin Walters revealed on Wednesday that he is “a bit fatigued” and will be rested. Jordan Pereira will replace him. Ryan James is also out due to a broken finger with Keenan Palasia to replace him. Walters also revealed Kurt Capewell is “good to go” after suffering an injury scare last week, while Zac Hosking will replace Rhys Kennedy on the bench because he is a “specialist edge player” and the team needed “balance”. Meanwhile, Corey Jensen has shifted to lock, with Kobe Hetherington swapping back to the bench.
Eels team: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Tom Opacic 5. Waqa Blake 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Ryan Matterson 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Jakob Arthur 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Marata Niukore 20. Bryce Cartwright 21. Sean Russell
Players cut: 18. Ofahiki Ogden 19. Bailey Simonsson 22. Ky Rodwell
Late Mail: Makahesi Makatoa and Jake Arthur have been added to the bench in place of Ofahiki Ogden and Bryce Cartwright, but the latter could be a late inclusion.
Penrith Panthers vs Warriors at BlueBet Stadium, 6.00pm AEDT
Panthers team: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Matt Eisenhuth 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Charlie Staines 18. Sunia Turuva 19. J’maine Hopgood 20. Chris Smith 21. Kurt Falls 22. Lindsay Smith
Late Mail: Jarome Luai is set to make an early return from a knee injury, with Jaeman Salmon dropping out. James Fisher-Harris returns from suspension with Matt Eisenhuth dropping to the bench and J’maine Hopgood making way.
Warriors team: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Viliami Vailea 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Edward Kosi 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Tohu Harris 12. Josh Curran 16. Eliesa Katoa 13. Bunty Afoa 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Dunamis Lui 17. Tom Ale 21. Ben Murdoch-Masila 18. Adam Pompey 20. Rocco Berry 22. Daejarn Asi 23. Taniela Otukolo 24. Jackson Frei
Players cut: 11. Euan Aitken
Late Mail: Second-rower Eaun Aitken has been ruled out due to personal reasons, with Eliesa Katoa to start and Ben Murdoch-Masila coming onto the bench, while Jackson Frei has been added to the reserves. Chanel Harris-Tavita returns from a knee injury with Daejarn Asi dropping out.
Melbourne Storm vs Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park Park, 7.55pm AEDT
Storm team: 1. Nick Meaney 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Young Tonumaipea 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Brandon Smith 14. Chris Lewis 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Josh King 18. Alec MacDonald 19. Trent Loiero 20. William Warbrick 21. Cooper Johns 22. Marion Seve
Late Mail: Marion Seve is a chance to return from a knee injury after being named in the reserves, with Young Tonumaipea likely to make way if he is deemed fit.
Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Angus Crichton 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Connor Watson 15. Egan Butcher 16. Lindsay Collins 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho 18. Drew Hutchison 19. Terrell May 20. Siua Wong 21. Fletcher Baker 22. Oliver Gildart
Late Mail: Forwards Lindsay Collins (concussion) and Siosiua Taukeiaho (cheekbone) are set to make their long-awaited returns via the bench.
MORE NRL NEWS
OVERHAUL: Tigers say stars will be ‘moved’. These players could be in the firing line
REPAY: Smith’s $200k sacrifice as Storm star repays team ahead of Roosters switch
TEAMS: Panthers star’s shock return as Cowboys make big switch; Young bunny axed
DECISIONS: Storm up ante with ‘impressive’ Munster offer amid Dolphins ‘pressure’
Canberra Raiders vs Manly Sea Eagles at GIO Stadium, 3.00pm AEDT
Raiders team: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Adam Elliott 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Corey Harawira-Naera 18. James Schiller 19. Ata Mariota 20. Matt Frawley 21. Trey Mooney 22. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Late Mail: The Raiders are set to to keep the same 17 as they aim to keep their finals dream alive.
Sea Eagles team: 1. Tolutau Koula 2. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Andrew Davey 13. Dylan Walker 14. Ben Trbojevic 15. Josh Schuster 16. Martin Taupau 17. Kurt De Luis 18. Ethan Bullemor 19. Kaeo Weekes 20. James Roumanos 21. Jamie Humphreys 22. Jacob Sykes
Late Mail: Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega will debut on the wing, with Alfred Smalley dropping out. Andrew Davey comes into the second row with Ethan Bullemor named 18th man. Toafofoa Sipley starts at prop with Martin Taupau on the bench.
Cronulla Sharks vs Canterbury Bulldogs at PointsBet Stadium, 5.30pm AEDT
Sharks team: 1. Lachlan Miller 2. Matt Ikuvalu 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Dale Finucane 14. Teig Wilton 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Aiden Tolman 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Braydon Trindall 19. Jesse Colquhoun 20. Franklin Pele 21. Kayal Iro 22. Luke Metcalf
Late Mail:Centre Siosifa Talakai returns from a shoulder injury in a timely boost with Connor Tracey out due to concussion. Andrew Fifita will come off the bench in his last home game for the club.
Bulldogs team: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Braidon Burns 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Joe Stimson 16. Harrison Edwards 17. Chris Patolo 19. Declan Casey 20. Bailey Biondi-Odo 21. Jackson Topine 22. Kurtis Morrin 23. Jeral Skelton
Players cut: 13. Luke Thompson
Late Mail:The Bulldogs will be without star enforcer Luke Thompson due to a positive Covid diagnosis, according to The Daily Telegraph. The 27-year-old missed training on Wednesday due to illness with confirmation on Thursday that Covid will rule him out of the clash with the Sharks. Joe Stimson has also revealed he was hospitalised early this week with an infected cut on his knee but is reportedly set to line-up on Saturday. Skipper Josh Jackson moves from lock to second row with Tevita Pangai Jr dropped to NSW Cup and Chris Patolo joining the bench.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs North Queensland Cowboys at Accor Stadium, 7.35pm AEDT
Rabbitohs team: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Izaac Thompson 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Hame Sele 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Siliva Havili 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Blake Taaffe 19. Taane Milne 20. Davvy Moale 21. Jed Cartwright 22. Michael Chee Kam
Late Mail: Prop Thomas Burgess is set to return from a groin injury on the bench, with Hame Sele to start and Daniel Suluka-Fifita dropping out.
Cowboys team: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Reuben Cotter 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Tom Gilbert 15. Coen Hess 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame 18. Brendan Elliot 19. Tomas Chester 20. Jake Granville 21. Riley Price 22. Ben Condon
Late Mail: Scott Drinkwater switches to five-eighth for the injured Tom Dearden, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to start at fullback and Tom Gilbert joining the bench.
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!
Wests Tigers vs St George Illawarra Dragons at CommBank Stadium, 2.00pm AEDT
Tigers team: 1. Daine Laurie 2. Brent Naden 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Pauga 6. Adam Doueihi 7. Jock Madden 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Jake Simpkin 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Thomas Freebairn 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Fa’amanu Brown 14. Fonua Pole 15. Austin Dias 16. Jacob Liddle 17. Kitione Kautoga 18. Justin Matamua 19. Tyrone Peachey 20. James Roberts 21. Tukimihia Simpkins 22. Brandon Tumeth
Late Mail: Luke Garner (head knock), Ken Maumalo (groin), James Tamou (suspended) and Alex Seyfarth (shoulder) are all out. Junior Pauga comes onto the wing, while Tom Freebairn starts in the second row. Joe Ofahengaue moves from lock to prop, Fa’amanu Brown switches to lock and Jake Simpkin replaces him at hooker. Jacob Liddle and debutant Kitione Kautoga join the pine.
Dragons team: 1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Jack Bird 4. Zac Lomax 5. Tautau Moga 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Aaron Woods 9. Jayden Sullivan 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Josh Mcguire 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack de Belin 14. Tyrell Fuimaono 15. Jaiyden Hunt 16. Jackson Ford 17. Tyrell Sloan 18. Jack Gosiewski 19. Jonathon Reuben 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Joshua Coric 22. Josh Kerr
Late Mail: Jack Bird switches to centre for the suspended Moses Mbye. Jack de Belin moves to lock, with Aaron Woods to start at prop.
Gold Coast Titans vs Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium, 4.05pm AEDT
Titans team: 1. Jayden Campbell 2. Sosefo Fifita 3. Brian Kelly 4. Phillip Sami 5. Greg Marzhew 6. AJ Brimson 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Jaimin Jolliffe 9. Sam McIntyre 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Isaac Liu 14. Paul Turner 15. Herman Ese’ese 16. Moeaki Fotuaika 17. Klese Haas 18. Corey Thompson 19. Jarrod Wallace 20. Toby Sexton 21. Esan Marsters 22. Sam Lisone
Late Mail: Centre Phillip Sami will need to pass concussion protocols to take his place. Jaimin Jolliffe starts at prop with Klese Haas to debut off the bench.
Knights team: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Krystian Mapapalangi 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Brodie Jones 13. Sauaso Sue 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Pasami Saulo 17. Mathew Croker 18. Jack Johns 19. Chris Randall 20. Enari Tuala 21. Simi Sasagi 22. Jirah Momoisea
Late Mail: Tyson Frizell (ribs) and Daniel Saifiti (Covid protocols) return, with Mat Croker and Jacob Saifiti shifting to the bench.