Papenhuyzen out with COVID, Reynolds sidelined, AFB, Doueihi back

Ryan Papenhuyzen has been ruled out of what was due to be his comeback on Friday against the Broncos from knee and hamstring problems after testing positive to COVID-19.

The star fullback had been listed in the reserves but will now have to spend seven days in isolation which is also a major blow to the NSW team for Origin II in Perth as he had been under consideration for the bench utility berth.

Melbourne announced on Wednesday morning that Papenhuyzen had returned a positive RAT on Tuesday which was confirmed by a positive PCR overnight.

Storm teammate Felise Kaufusi has avoided a fine for his elbow to Sam Walker’s head, found not guilty of a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary.

Kaufusi fronted the judiciary via video link on Tuesday night, arguing he should not have to pay a $2500 fine after bumping Walker off in a tackle.

Running with ball in hand, Kaufusi first made contact with Walker’s head in the hit-up before the Sydney Roosters five-eighth had his head pushed towards the ground.

Brisbane will enter their monster test a AAMI Park without captain Adam Reynolds. The star halfback came from the field during Saturday night’s win against Canberra with a rib injury and his side won’t risk him for the Friday night blockbuster. Tyrone Roberts will fill in at halfback.

Veteran winger Corey Oates said Reynolds’ injury was nothing major, but a long-term, cautious approach appeared the way to go.

“Renno is just unlucky the poor fella,” Oates told reporters. “He’s all right, I don’t think it’s a real serious one, if he has a week off he can heal and be a lot better for it.

“I think they said he could play on with it … would you rather him re-injure and be out for eight weeks or have the rest and heal up?”

Prop Payne Haas did not train with a shoulder complaint, although Oates expected the “tough bastard” would play through the injury.

Roosters playmaker Luke Keary is hopeful of returning to the fray this Saturday against Parramatta after copping a head knock in last weekend’s loss to the Storm.

Keary actually passed his HIA after copping an accidental knee to the head but was not feeling up to a return to the playing field.

Luke Keary. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Tigers will be without Brent Naden after he pleaded guilty to a grade-three dangerous throw charge, receiving a four-game ban.

Naden was sent off for a lifting tackle on Jake Trbojevic midway through the second half of Wests Tigers Round 14 loss to Manly at Campbelltown on Sunday. Adam Doueihi has been named to make his return from an ACL tear on the bench.

Luciano Leilua has played his last game for the Wests Tigers after being granted an immediate release to join the Cowboys until the end of 2025.

Experienced prop Addin Fonua-Blake is back for the Warriors while Sharks forward Dale Finucane is also a chance to make his return this weekend.

Round 15 team lists

Thursday

Dragons v Rabbitohs at WIN Stadium, 7.50pm (AEST)

Dragons: Mikaele Ravalawa is set to make a return from a hamstring injury for debutant Jon Reuben.

1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims
Interchange: 14. Moses Mbye 15. Francis Molo 16. Aaron Woods 17. Michael Molo 18. Josh Kerr 19. Tautau Moga 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Jaiyden Hunt 22. Billy Burns

Rabbitohs: Latrell Mitchell has not been named even though he is now out of COVID isolation.

1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Alex Johnston 3. Taane Milne 4. Campbell Graham 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray
Interchange: 14. Blake Taaffe 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Siliva Havili 17. Hame Sele 18. Peter Mamouzelos 19. Isaiah Tass 20. Dean Hawkins 21. Jed Cartwright 22. Liam Knight

Friday

Sea Eagles v Cowboys at 4 Pines Park, 6pm (AEST)

Sea Eagles: Daly Cherry-Evans will be back after he was given a rest last week after Queensland duty.

1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Morgan Harper 4. Tolutau Koula 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. Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Josh Schuster 16. Martin Taupau 17. Sean Keppie 18. Taniela Paseka 19. Ben Trbojevic 20. Ethan Bullemor 21. Kaeo Weekes 22. Kurt De Luis

Cowboys: Jeremiah Nanai will return from his ankle injury while Reuben Cotter is also back after being given a rest after his Maroons debut. Midweek recruit Luciano Leilua is not part of the squad. Young forward Tom Gilbert is sidelined with an eye injury.

1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Reuben Cotter 11. Connelly Lemuelu 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. Jake Granville 15. Coen Hess 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame 18. Ben Condon 19. Brendan Elliot 20. Kane Bradley 23. Ben Hampton 24. Robert Derby

Storm v Broncos at AAMI Park, 7.55pm (AEST)

Storm: Ryan Papenhuyzen is out of the squad after testing positive to COVID-19 so his return from a knee injury will be delayed until after the Representative Round. Jack Howarth has been added to the bench as his replacement.

1. Nick Meaney 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Grant Anderson 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King
Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Trent Loiero 17. Chris Lewis 18. Jayden Nikorima 19. Alec MacDonald 20. Jordan Grant 21. Ryan Papenhuyzen 22. Tyran Wishart 23. Jack Howarth

Broncos: Adam Reynolds will sit this one out with rib damage while Payne Haas and Kotoni Staggs are doubtful because of shoulder problems. Herbie Farnworth is out long term with a pec problem so Brenko Lee is likely to replace him at centre. Kurt Capewell returns from a post-Origin rest.

1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan
Interchange: 14. Jake Turpin 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Jordan Pereira 19. Rhys Kennedy 20. Delouise Hoeter 21. Xavier Willison 22. Ryan James

Saturday

Sharks v Titans at C.ex Coffs International Stadium, 3pm (AEST)

Sharks: Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon is set to stick with the same squad which thrashed the Warriors with Dale Finucane probably another week away from a return from a knee injury although he has been listed in the reserves.

1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes
Interchange: 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Braydon Trindall 16. Teig Wilton 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Connor Tracey 19. Dale Finucane 20. Lachlan Miller 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Kade Dykes

Titans: Pressure is building on Justin Holbrook after his team dropped to last spot when the Bulldogs beat the Eels on Monday. The three teams above his side have sacked their coach already this season. AJ Brimson is back at fullback after a stint in COVID isolation.

1. AJ Brimson 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Paul Turner 7. Toby Sexton 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. Sam McIntyre 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Interchange: 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Sam Lisone 18. Sosefo Fifita 19. Herman Ese’ese 20. Aaron Booth 21. Kevin Proctor 22. Esan Marsters

Warriors v Panthers at Moreton Daily Stadium, 5.30pm (AEST)

Warriors: New coach Stacey Jones has brought in Bunty Afoa to the starting side as a replacement for veteran prop Ben Murdoch-Masila after he badly damaged his elbow in the loss to Cronulla. First-choice prop Addin Fonua-Blake has been sidelined with a foot injury since the Round 11 loss to St George Illawarra but has been named on the extended bench. Jesse Arthars is a new face at centre with Rocco Berry relegated to the reserves while a concussion to Euan Aitken means Josh Curran comes off the bench into the back row.

Mid-season Roosters recruit Ronald Volkman will make his NRL debut in the halves alongside Shaun Johnson with Chanel Harris-Tavita dropped to the bench.

1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Ronald Volkman 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jazz Tevaga 11. Jack Murchie 12. Tohu Harris (c) 13. Josh Curran.
Interchange: 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 15. Aaron Pene 16. Dunamis Lui 17. Bayley Sironen 18. Freddy Lussick 20. Eliesa Katoa 21. Rocco Berry 22. Daejarn Asi 23. Addin Fonua-Blake

Panthers: Ivan Cleary is due back for the Panthers after sitting out the win over Newcastle when he was hospitalised due to blood clots. Co-captain Isaah Yeo (head knock) is also returning after a week off.

1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Lauai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salon 18. Robert Jennings 19. Matt Eiseunhuth 20. Chris Smith 21. Soni Luke 22. Thomas Jenkins

Eels v Roosters at CommBank Stadium, 7.35pm (AEST)

Eels: Brad Arthur has resisted the temptation to swing the axe in the wake of Monday’s dreadful performance against Canterbury, retaining the same team.

1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Will Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Marata Niukore 13. Isaiah Papali’i
Interchange: 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Nathan Brown 18. Tom Opacic 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Bryce Cartwright 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Sean Russell

Roosters: Luke Keary is a chance to line up at halfback despite failing to finish last Saturday’s stoush with the Storm due to a head knock. Hooker Sam Verrills is back after a collarbone injury while Paul Momirovski has been dropped, replaced at centre by Billy Smith.

1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Sam Verrills 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Nat Butcher
Interchange: 14. Connor Watson 15. Drew Hutchison 16. Egan Butcher 17. Fletcher Baker 18. Lachlan Lam 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 20. Paul Momirovski 21. Terrell May 22. Adam Keighran

Sunday

Raiders v Knights at GIO Stadium, 2pm (AEST)

Raiders: Josh Papalii was relegated to the interchange last week after Origin duty so he will return to the run-on side with an eight-day turnaround. Jordan Rapana returns on the wing after his second suspension this year.

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
Interchange: 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Corey Harawira-Naera 17. Corey Horsburgh 18. Brad Schneider 19. James Schiller 20. Trey Mooney 21. Semi Valemei 22. Adrian Trevilyan

Knights: There are problems galore at Newcastle but coach Adam O’Brien has not made sweeping changes. Kalyn Ponga is expected to play despite failing an HIA against Penrith on Sunday.

1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Enari Tuala 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Jake Clifford 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Kurt Mann
Interchange: 14. Simi Sasagi 15. Leo Thompson 16. Mathew Croker 17. Pasami Saulo 18. Phoenix Crossland 19. Tex Hoy 20. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 21. Adam Clune 22. Hymel Hunt

Bulldogs v Tigers at CommBank Stadium, 4pm (AEST)

Bulldogs: Mick Potter’s decision to put Jake Averillo to fullback was a masterstroke in the upset win over the Eels with the utility back enjoying his finest game of the season. Chris Patolo and Luke Thompson are out due to concussions.

1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Corey Allan 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 13. Tevita Pangai jnr
Interchange: 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Corey Waddell 16. Joe Stimson 17. Kurtis Morrin 19. Matt Dufty 20. Bailey Biondi-Odo 21. Jayden Tanner 22. Isaac Lumelume 24. Jackson Topine

Adam Doueihi of the Tigers converts the try

(Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tigers: Brent Naden has taken the early plea to miss four matches for the dangerous throw charge in the wake of his send-off against Manly. Luciano Leilua has played his last game for the Wests Tigers after being granted an immediate release to join the Cowboys until the end of 2025. Asu Kepaoa replaces Naden at centre while Adam Doueihi will make his return from a torn ACL via the interchange.

1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange: 14. Fa’amanu Brown 15. Alex Twal 16. Adam Doueihi 17. Alex Seyfarth 18. Jake Simpkin 19. Fonua Pole 20. Austin Dias 21. Junior Tupou 22. Tyrone Peachey