NRL News

Munster No.1 for Storm's NRL season opener


(AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)

Melbourne playmaker Cameron Munster has been named at fullback, replacing injured veteran Billy Slater for the premiers' NRL round one meeting with Canterbury in Perth.

Ryley Jacks will combine with Brodie Croft in the halves after regular pivot Munster was shifted to fullback with Slater sidelined with a shoulder injury for Saturday night's game.

Matthew Frawley will link with new recruit Kieran Foran in the Bulldogs halves with Moses Mbye wearing the No.1 jersey.

Controversial Brisbane signing Matt Lodge will make his NRL return in the starting front row with Andrew McCullough, returning from a knee injury, named at hooker.

Jordan Kahu is in the centres and Jamayne Isaako on the wing for Thursday night's season opener with St George Illawarra at Jubilee Oval.

Prized recruits Ben Hunt and James Graham will make their debuts for the Dragons.

New Zealand international Danny Levi has been overlooked for Newcastle's clash with Manly on Friday night with recruits Mitchell Pearce, Kalyn Ponga, Connor Watson, Tautau Moga, Herman Ese'ese, Slade Griffin, Jacob Lillyman and Aidan Guerra all starting and Chris Heighington on the bench.

Lachlan Croker is Sea Eagles playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans's halves partner with recruit Joel Thompson in the second row.

Ben Hampton has been named at fullback for the injured Lachlan Coote (hamstring) for North Queensland's Friday night home clash with Cronulla.

Jordan McLean makes his debut in a Cowboys side which will officially welcome back co-captains Johnathan Thurston (shoulder) and Matt Scott (knee) from injury.

Javid Bowen is in the centres for Kane Linnett (pectoral) for Thurston's 300th NRL game.

Josh Dugan and Matt Moylan will make their Sharks debuts with winger Sione Katoa to play his first NRL game.

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary named Benji Marshall (calf) on the bench and replaced winger David Nofoaluma with Corey Thompson for Saturday's clash with the Sydney Roosters.

Recruits Josh Reynolds, Russell Packer and Pita Godinet will all start for the Tigers.

Mitchell Cornish was named as Roosters five-eighth for Luke Keary (broken jaw) while James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk will make their tri-colours debut.

Greg Inglis will make his long awaited return from injury in the centres with Alex Johnston at fullback for South Sydney's round one game against the Warriors in Perth on Saturday.

Damien Cook will start at hooker with veteran Robbie Farah on an extended bench.

For the Warriors, recruits Peta Hiku, Blake Green, Adam Blair and Tohu Harris will start but veteran forward Simon Mannering (shoulder) is out.

James Maloney will make his Penrith debut while code-hopper Jarryd Hayne makes his official Parramatta return in the centres with Bevan French at fullback in Sunday's Panthers Stadium clash.

At Canberra, Sam Williams has been named at No.7, Aidan Sezer at pivot and Blake Austin on the bench for Sunday's clash at the Gold Coast.

Siliva Havili is the starting hooker for Josh Hodgson (knee).

Jai Arrow, Leilani Latu and Bryce Cartwright will all make their Titans debut.

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