The Storm and the Cowboys will be sweating on the fitness of Cameron Munster and Murray Taulagi after they were ruled out of Origin III with Covid.
Meanwhile, Nicho Hynes is due back from Covid for the Sharks as clubs sweat on their Origin stars getting through Origin III unscathed.
Read on for all the Team Tips for Round 18.
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North Queensland Cowboys vs Cronulla Sharks 6pm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium
Round 16 Cowboys team: 1. Scott Drinkwater 22. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Tom Gilbert 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 2. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 15. Luciano Leilua 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame 14. Jake Granville
Team Tips: After contracting Covid-19 on Friday, winger Murray Taulagi will come out of his seven-day isolation period on the day of the Cowboys clash with the Sharks. Todd Payten will have to make a call whether he plays the winger without any preparation. If he is ruled out, Brendan Elliot could slot onto the wing. Meanwhile, Origin stars Valentine Holmes, Tom Dearden, Tom Dearden and Jeremiah Nanai may be rested depending on how Wednesday pans out. Prop Jordan McLean is out for four weeksdue to a hamstring injury suffered in Blues camp, likely bringing Griffin Neame into the starting side, depending on the fitness of Coen Hess who is due for a Round 18 return. Connelly Lemuelu and Luciano Leilua will likely take spots in the back row, with Ben Hampton slotting into five-eighth if Payten opts to rest his Origin contingent. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow could play in the centres if Payten chooses to reintroduce Elliott into the starting side. Ben Condon will likely come onto the bench.
Last week’s Sharks team: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Connor Tracey 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 18. Braydon Trindall 17. Andrew Fifita 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Dale Finucane 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Teig Wilton 21. Braden Hamlin-Uele
Team Tips: Hot off the back of a huge win over the Storm the Sharks will likely welcome back Nicho Hynes and Toby Rudolf after contracting Covid-19.
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Last week’s Eels team: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Waqa Blake 4. Viliami Penisini 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Marata Niukore 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Tom Opacic 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Ky Rodwell 18. Nathan Brown
Team Tips: Ryan Matterson (ribs) will likely make a return into the side as the expense of Nathan Brown.
Round 16 Warriors team: 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Jesse Arthars 18. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Ronald Volkman 7. Shaun Johnson 20. Aaron Pene 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jazz Tevaga 4. Euan Aitken 13. Josh Curran 12. Tohu Harris 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 15. Bunty Afoa 17. Bayley Sironen 22. Freddy Lussick
Team Tips: Reece Walsh will likely make a return to the starting side after being ruled out due to Covid-19. Chanel Harris-Tavita will likely shift back to the bench in place of Freddy Lussick. Meanwhile, Addin Fonua-Blake is set to return to the starting side in place of Aaron Pene who could shift Bayley Sironen off the pine. Viliami Vailea is also due to return and could force Adam Pompey out of the side.
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Sydney Roosters vs St George Illawarra Dragons 3pm at Central Coast Stadium
Round 16 Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 12. Sitili Tupouniua 5. Joseph Suaalii 4. Joseph Manu 7. Sam Walker 8. Lindsay Collins 6. Drew Hutchison 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Angus Crichton 16. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 9. Sam Verrills 14. Connor Watson 15. Egan Butcher 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita
Team Tips: Roosters Origin stars James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou and Lindsay Collins are a good chance of playing on the four-day back-up. Meanwhile, Luke Keary could be set for a return to the side after dealing with concussion symptoms, shifting Joseph Manu back to the centres and Sitili Tupouniua back to the back row. Jared Waera-Hargreaves is also nearing a return and the two-week break could see him back into the side in place of Daniel Suluka-Fifita who made an immediate switch to the Rabbitohs.
Last week’s Dragons team: 1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Jayden Sullivan 15. Francis Molo 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 8. Jack de Belin 14. Moses Mbye 18. Jaiyden Hunt 20. Josh Kerr
Team Tips: Winger Mikaele Ravalawa suffered a hamstring injury and will be assessed during the week. If ruled out, Tautau Moga or Jonathon Reuben will likely slot in.
Manly Sea Eagles vs Newcastle Knights 5.30pm at 4 Pines Park
Round 16 Sea Eagles team: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Morgan Harper 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Sean Keppie 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Andrew Davey 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Josh Schuster 16. Martin Taupau 17. Taniela Paseka
Team Tips: Centre Brad Parker made a return via reserve grade as Des Hasler’s side had a week off. If he returns to first grade he would likely take the place of Morgan Harper. Josh Aloiai is also due to return and will likely push Sean Keppie out of the starting side, with Taniela Paseka dropping off the bench.
Last week’s Knights team: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Kurt Mann 14. Jayden Brailey 16. Leo Thompson 17. Mathew Croker 19. Pasami Saulo
Team Tips: Blues prop Jacob Saifiti will likely back-up and will join the bench if he gets through his Origin debut unscathed. Meanwhile, Kalyn Ponga is also a strong chance of playing and will displace Tex Hoy. Jayden Brailey could also move into the starting side after playing his first game from the bench.
Gold Coast Titans vs Brisbane Broncos 7.35pm at Cbus Super Stadium
Round 16 Titans team: 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 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 17. David Fifita 19. Herman Ese’ese
Team Tips: Kevin Proctor and Phillip Sami are due to return to the starting side. Justin Holbrook will have a headache on his hands and could bring Sami into the starting 17 in place of Jamayne Isaako. Meanwhile, Proctor could return via to bench in place of Herman Ese’ese, with David Fifita a strong chance of swapping with Sam McIntyre in the back row.
Last week’s Broncos team: 1. Tesi Niu 18. Delouise Hoeter 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Jordan Pereira 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Keenan Palasia 9. Billy Walters 10. Ryan James 11. Zac Hosking 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington 14. Cory Paix 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Xavier Willison 17. Tyson Gamble
Team Tips: The Broncos Origin guns Selwyn Cobbo, Kurt Capewell and Patrick Carrigan are a strong chance of backing up, while Thomas Flegler will also be available after his involvement in the Origin camp.
Wests Tigers vs Penrith Panthers 2pm at CommBank Stadium
Last week’s Tigers team: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Adam Doueihi 20. Junior Tupou 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 10. Zane Musgrove 9. Fa’amanu Brown 17. Fonua Pole 11. Luke Garner 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Stefano Utoikamanu 15. Justin Matamua 16. Jacob Liddle 18. Austin Dias
Team Tips: Debutant Justin Matamua escaped a charge following his late shot on Mitchell Moses but may be forced out of the side due to James Tamou’s return. Fonua Pole will likely shift back to the bench if the veteran prop returns. Ken Maumalo was a late pull-out and could also be deemed fit to return in place of Junior Tupou. Jackson Hastings also suffered injuries to his shoulder and ankle, but will likely battle through as he did against the Eels. Adam Doueihiis likely to be retained in the centres, despite his desire to play in the No.6 jersey.
Round 16 Panthers team: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 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 Salmon
Team Tips: The Panthers will be hoping Origin stars Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Api Koroisau, Stephen Crichton, Brian To’o, Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin can back up but Ivan Cleary may choose to rest some of his rep stars.
Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders 4.05pm at AAMI Park
Last week’s Storm team: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Grant Anderson 6. Nick Meaney 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Chris Lewis 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Alec MacDonald 17. Jordan Grant
Team Tips: Star five-eighth Cameron Munster will bid for a return from Covid after being rubbed out of Origin III. Felise Kaufusi is due back from personal leave after missing Origin III. Kenny Bromwich (leg) and Tepai Moeroa (shoulder) are also due back and will come into calculations.
Round 16 Raiders team: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papalii 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 15. Ryan Sutton 13. Adam Elliott 14. Tom Starling 16. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 17. Corey Horsburgh
Team Tips: James Schiller is due back from a shoulder injury, but will struggle to break into the 17.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs South Sydney Rabbitohs 6.15pm at Accor Stadium
Round 16 Bulldogs team: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 19. Declan Casey 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 15. Corey Waddell 13. Tevita Pangai Junior 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 16. Joe Stimson 17. Kurtis Morrin
Team Tips: Declan Casey is due back from concussion but is unlikely to force his way into the 17.
Last week’s Rabbitohs team: 1. Latrell Mitchell 5. Jaxson Paulo 3. Taane Milne 4. Isaiah Tass 20. Richard Kennar 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Siliva Havili 17. Davvy Moale 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jed Cartwright 14. Kodi Nikorima 10. Thomas Burgess 16. Michael Chee Kam 18. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 21. Shaquai Mitchell
Team Tips: Halfback Lachlan Ilias is in doubt with a cheekbone injury that saw him rubbed out of the Knights clash in the first minute. Kodi Nikorima filled in at halfback and will likely stay there if Ilias is ruled out. Blake Taaffe would then fill the bench utility role. Winger Alex Johnston was a late scratching for the Knights clash with a quad injury with hat-trick hero Richie Kennar likely to hold his place if he does not recover. Mark Nicholls was another late scratching due to concussion, but will come in for Shaquai Mitchell if fit.