Righto, team news from Lottoland.
And Des Hasler has had to spin the wheel to find a few new numbers with the club’s injury crisis biting even further. Back-rowers Curtis Sironen and Joel Thompson are both out with Corey Waddell and Haumole Olakau’atu drafted into the starting side. Morgan Boyle comes onto the bench.
No changes for the Warriors from the 17 named earlier in the week.
Just for a change, it’s been another big news day in the NRL with the fallout from the COVID-19 breaches of both Wayne Bennett and Dragons prop Paul Vaughan, who will also miss next week’s clash against the Eels after going out for breakfast on Thursday morning.
Three Broncos staff, including club legend Allan Langer, have been banned from travelling to Sydney for the match against the Rabbitohs after it emerged they had attended a private function at the Caxton Hotel last week after the club’s loss against the Sharks.
I’m no genius, but attending one of Brisbane’s most famous nightspots is not exactly a way to stay out of the spotlight, right?
But to mix it up a little bit, colleague Andrew Webster has written about Eels prop Junior Paulo, really a halfback in a front-rower’s body.
But before we get to the Bunnies, it’s a huge night for Des Hasler and the Sea Eagles as they look to stay in touch with the top eight. It’s Desmond’s 400th NRL match as a coach tonight, a remarkable achievement for the mad scientist.
But even after Blake Green’s exit earlier this week, the Warriors will be no pushovers. They were very impressive against the Tigers last week and are showing a huge amount of fight given the extraordinary circumstances they’ve found themselves in.
I’m just not sure how Todd Payten’s decision to turn down the head coaching role, forcing the Warriors to turn to Nathan Brown, will affect them.
Hello and welcome to our Friday night doubleheader, coming straight to you from my lounge room. At least I know how Wayne Bennett will feel tonight.
The first match will be the Sea Eagles taking on the Warriors at a sodden Lottoland before the Rabbitohs host the Broncos in the ultimate grudge match, sans one of the two chief protagonists. Is it still possible for Bennett to have the last laugh even if he’s not at ANZ Stadium?
Bennett will watch from home after being placed into a 14-day COVID hold after visiting a Leichhardt restaurant on Wednesday, in contravention of the code’s strict biosecurity rules.