Heavy hitters set to make return felt

Sam Burgess will be back in action for the Rabbitohs tomorrow night. Photo: AAP Image
Sam Burgess will be back in action for the Rabbitohs tomorrow night. Photo: AAP Image AAP

BROOKVALE Oval's foundations could be severely tested tomorrow night when two of the NRL's biggest hitters are set to collide.

South Sydney welcomes back English star Sam Burgess, while Manly's rib-rattling back-rower Martin Taupau returns from suspension.

If they line each other up, which seems highly likely at some stage, their collision could be felt across Sydney.

Souths are hurting after being embarrassed 42-12 by the Bulldogs while Burgess was on the sidelines recovering from a neck injury.

Whether Burgess will have any tentativeness about ripping straight back into his aggressive game after such a huge scare is the unknown, but coach Michael McGuire has named him to play which suggests he has trained well.

Manly coach Trent Barrett, meanwhile, has turned to PNG representative Apisai Koroisau to play halfback for injured No.7 Daly Cherry-Evans (ankle).

Another big-name player returning from injury this round is Sharks skipper Paul Gallen, named in the pack against the Wests Tigers, after missing the first four rounds with a knee injury.

Brisbane will welcome back robust young winger Corey Oates and tough centre Jack Reed for its clash with Gold Coast, which will be happy to have busy hooker Nathan Friend back.

North Queensland has handed an NRL debut to Javid Bowen, whose uncle Matthew was a favourite with Cowboys' fans. He gets a start in the centres for Kane Linnett, who suffered a shoulder injury in the golden-point loss to Brisbane.

The other significant selection is the return of Penrith fullback Matt Moylan (back), who has been cleared to play.


-0.4C! Southeast shivers through coldest morning of year

Premium Content -0.4C! Southeast shivers through coldest morning of year

In one town it felt like it was 0 degrees after wintery blast

Jab now a sore point for a PM under fire

Premium Content Jab now a sore point for a PM under fire

The Prime Minister has been forced to defend the slow vax rollout

Blame game over $5.85b roadworks backlog

Premium Content Blame game over $5.85b roadworks backlog

Cost of required works on Queensland’s state controlled roads has soared