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Sunday, July 25, 2021

NRL Round 19 teams: Papenhuyzen back

On a chaotic NRL team list Tuesday ahead of round 19 Ryan Papenhuyzen has been named to come off Melbourne’s bench in his his long-awaited NRL return against North Queensland on Friday night.

The 23-year-old battled ongoing symptoms since a brutal head knock during Magic Round in mid-May, with the Storm taking a cautious approach to his return.

Papenhuyzen was left bedridden for almost two weeks following the high tackle by St George Illawarra forward Tyrell Fuimaono, who was banned for five weeks.

They have had no reason to rush his return, winning 14 matches in succession with his replacement Nicho Hynes earning a NSW Origin call-up on the back of his performances.

Hynes has retained the No.1 jersey for the Queensland Country Bank Stadium clash, with Melbourne opting to rest Cameron Munster and Felise Kaufusi.

Christian Welch and Josh Addo-Carr are back following their post-Origin rest, but Dale Finucane is out with a head injury.

Brutal afternoon of team changes

Regardless though, the Storm have fared better than most on a brutal afternoon of team changes as line-ups were announced for NRL round 19.

The Warriors were hardest hit, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to miss Saturday’s clash against South Sydney with concussion after Tohu Harris and Wayde Egan were already ruled out for the season.

It means Addin Fonua-Blake will captain the team, having never filled the role previously in the NRL.

The Rabbitohs have also lost Jai Arrow to another concussion concern, while Josh Mansour and Jaxson Paulo will play on the wings with Alex Johnston injured and Taane Milne back on the bench.

Parramatta have opted to rest Mitch Moses for a second straight week, but fellow NSW Origin player Junior Paulo is back against Canberra.

The Eels have given Blake Ferguson another chance and gun youngster Will Penisini a game with Haze Dunster and Tom Opacic both gone.

The Raiders have bigger concerns with Xavier Savage (shoulder) gone for the season and Jack Wighton out, leaving Matt Frawley to partner Sam Williams in the halves.

Mitchell Pearce will miss another week with a hamstring injury for Newcastle, with their opponents the Sydney Roosters to get James Tedesco back.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has picked youngster Billy Smith at centre, with Josh Morris left in the reserves after they were carved up out wide by North Queensland.

Corey Norman will serve his ban for Paul Vaughan’s barbeque against Gold Coast, with Jayden Sullivan to No.6 alongside Ben Hunt.

The Titans will also have a rookie in the halves, with Toby Sexton to make his debut at five-eighth.

Penrith at least had some good news with Jarome Luai to come back at No.6 against Brisbane, partnering Tyrone May as Matt Burton reverts to centre.

Manly were one of the few winners on Tuesday, with the Jake Trbojevic and Josh Aloiai to return from injury against Wests Tigers and Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans back from their rests.

See the full NRL round 19 squad announcements here.


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