NRL Trials Week 3: What to watch out for
Week 3 of NRL trials could be the last chance for fringe players to push their case for Round 1 selection.
SATURDAY MARCH 2
Warriors v Wests Tigers at Northland Events Centre, New Zealand (3pm AEDT)
Warriors – the buzz surrounding young playmaker Adam Keighran continues to grow. Yet to play NRL but with strong NSW Intrust Super Premiership pedigree with Penrith and Blake Green continuing his recovery from a hamstring injury, Keighran gets a great chance to cement his Round One selection.
Tigers – will Robert Jennings make his unofficial Tigers debut? He’s a born tryscorer but having joined the Tigers very late into pre-season, will Jennings get the chance to nail a starting spot this week?
Knights v Sharks at Maitland No.1 Sportsground (5.30pm AEDT)
Knights – another edition of the Kalyn Ponga experiment! Ponga was electric in his five-eighth club debut last week, he’ll get another chance to build his playmaking credentials before Round One.
Sharks – Shaun Johnson will experience something for the first time in his lengthy NRL career on Saturday when he plays for a non-Warriors side. Like Ponga, Johnson is making the move into five-eighth and will be looking to impress alongside a familiar face from his Warriors career in halfback Chad Townsend.
Panthers v Eels at Panthers Stadium (7pm AEDT)
Panthers – Viliame Kikau’s knee injury means there’s a starting second-row position open. Jack Hetherington gets first crack but with stacked depth, coach Ivan Cleary is spoiled for choice.
Eels – Reed Mahoney played nine NRL games last year – this year he gets the chance to make the number nine jersey his own. With speculation over Issac Luke’s potential transfer still looming, Mahoney will be looking for a big performance this Saturday.
Sea Eagles v Roosters at Central Coast Stadium (7pm AEDT)
Sea Eagles - No pressure Brendan Elliot! The new recruit will be thrown into the fullback spot to cover for the injured superstar Tom Trbojevic. Elliot- and Manly- will be thankful they get a hitout to adapt to their fill-in fullback.
Roosters - coming off a successful European tour capped by a World Club Championship win over Wigan, all eyes will be on the Roosters and whether there is any fatigue already setting in this pre-season.
Titans v Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium (7.30pm AEDT)
Titans – Key signing Tyrone Peachey has been named in the centres by coach Garth Brennan. Arguably NRL’s most versatile player, will the big-money NSW recruit remain there come round one?
Broncos – Matt Gillett will make his first on-field appearance since a broken neck put an end to his 2018 campaign in April. Gillett has been shown faith by his new coach Anthony Seibold and will look to shake off the rust against a big Titans pack.
Cowboys v Storm at Mackay (8pm AEDT)
Cowboys – fans will see a revamped Cowboys lineup, highlighted by new signings Josh McGuire, Nene Macdonald and Jordan Kahu. The trial will be of huge use to Paul Green as the post-Jonathan Thurston era begins.
Storm – Scott Drinkwater has been named in the fullback position after an impressive off-season. Jahrome Hughes is unavailable due to injury, meaning Drinkwater may get the final say in who replaces a future Immortal in Billy Slater come Round One.
All NRL trials can be live streamed with a free NRL Account on NRL.com