James McManus makes his highly anticipated return to the Newcastle Knights team for this Saturday night’s game against the Penrith Panthers.
McManus broke a bone in his left foot during a training session mid December and is yet to play in 2010. The winger will be joined by centre Adam MacDougall, five-eighth Jarrod Mullen and hooker Isaac De Gois, all making their returns from injury. Kurt Gidley, who missed the Knights round 11 loss to the Tigers while on State of Origin duties for the first game of the series, returns to lead the side wearing the number seven jersey.


Kieran Foran has been named in the centres to replace the injured Jamie Lyon for Sunday’s clash against Brisbane at Brookvale Oval. Foran missed the Sea Eagles victory against the Cowboys in Townsville with Chris Bailey filling in at five-eighth in his absence and Bailey retains the five-eighth position on Sunday. Youngster Dean Whare has been retained in the Manly side after a memorable debut last weekend where he scored three tries and created another one.


WOW Brisbane Broncos coach Ivan Henjak has found himself in the unusual position of naming an unchanged team during the traditionally-taxing State of Origin period. The Broncos will take the same side which ground down Cronulla 20-4 last weekend into the crunch clash against Manly at Brookvale Oval on Sunday. In good news for the Broncos, Manly captain Jamie Lyon will miss the game with an ankle injury suffered in their 24-20 win over North Queensland last Saturday. On the Brisbane injury front, Broncos prop Nick Kenny is at least another week away from playing after twingeing his calf in a fitness test last week. And Gerard Beale will be out of action for at least a month because of a knee injury.
Beale has a torn meniscus and will have to be operated on, with suggestions he could be back in either a month, or perhaps even 12 weeks, depending on the success of the operation.


Melbourne captain Cameron Smith will return from an elbow injury he sustained in the Australia v New Zealand Test match four weeks ago when he leads the Storm into battle against Parramatta on Friday night. The Storm also welcome back Origin trio Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Brett White with all three sitting out the impressive victory by Melbourne against Canterbury. Smith hasn’t played since the Test match last month and missed Queensland’s victory in the opening State of Origin match. A solid performance by Smith will see him rushed straight back into the Maroons side despite Matt Ballin having an outstanding match.


Canberra Raiders Coach David Furner has a selection headache this week, with five NRL regulars set to return from Origin duty and injury for the match against the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday afternoon at Canberra Stadium. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and David Shillington have been named in the starting side for the match after excellent performances for their states in game one, while Josh Miller and Adam Mogg have been named on an extended bench for the Titans match. Raiders lock Shaun Fensom is also expected to be available this weekend after recovering from a back injury, but hasn’t been named in the 19 man NRL squad. Furner said it’s great to finally have some players back on deck, but admits there are some tough decisions to be made regarding who gets a run in the final 17 on Sunday. “We’ve had out fair share of injuries this year so it’s nice to start getting some players back into full training and available for selection,” Furner said. “Having said that the guys who’ve been filling in have done a great job, particularly against St George Illawarra before the bye.” Furner said both Travis Waddell and Troy Thompson have some minor injury concerns heading into the match and will be reassessed later in the week before the final makeup of the side was finalised.


Wests Tigers Coach Tim Sheens has named his team to play the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Friday, June 4, in round 13 of the Telstra Premiership. New signing Wade McKinnon will not play after only arriving at training on Monday and has been given the chance to settle in. With Wests Tigers having the bye in round 14, Sheens is expecting to have props Keith Galloway (hand), Tame Tupou (knee), centre Blake Ayshford (groin) and full-back McKinnon available for the Canberra match at Leichhardt Oval in round 15. Sheens also said veteran prop John Skandalis would only be used in the NRL side as a back-up after he came out of retirement last Saturday to help out the Western Suburbs Magpies for the rest of this season. It was a role Skandalis performed well in for Wests Tigers last year.


Despite a series of frustrating losses Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore has opted against making any changes to the team for Friday night’s match against the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium. “I’d like to think that by showing a little faith and with the hard work and perseverance the players have all shown over the past few weeks we’ll be rewarded with a return to form on Friday night,” Moore said. “Certainly it’s been a frustrating period for everyone at the Club but we all know what this team is capable of when everyone’s at their best. “After their classy performance last weekend we’re very aware that the Wests Tigers won’t make the job easy for us but if we play to our potential we’ll have a great match.”


The South Sydney Rabbitohs are pleased to announce their team to take on the North Queensland Cowboys in round 13 this Monday 7 June at ANZ Stadium. Rabbitohs Head Coach John Lang has named the same team that defeated the Penrith Panthers last Sunday at ANZ Stadium.


The Pirtek Parramatta Eels are looking to bounce back from the disappointment of their Round 12 loss by reversing the result of the 2009 Grand Final as they face Melbourne Storm for the first time since October last year. The Eels will be keen to grab two points in the grand final replay as they approach their second bye of the season in Round 14. Injured stars Joel Reddy, Eric Grothe and Nathan Hindmarsh have been named to return this week in a near full-strength side.


The Jetstar Gold Coast Titans have today named an extended 19-man squad for Sunday’s Round 13 clash against the Canberra Raiders at Canberra Stadium. Jetstar Titans Head Coach John Cartwright today named centre Joseph Tomane to return from a hamstring injury in place of Josh Graham (sternum) while forwards Bodene Thompson and Will Matthews have been added to an extended six-man bench. Following a disappointing loss to the Roosters on home turf last night, the Jetstar Titans will hit the road searching for their first win against the Raiders in the nation’s capital. Cartwright said his fourth-placed side didn’t need to make major changes ahead of the Raiders clash. “We’ve got a few areas we’ve got to fix up but you get five days so you can’t change a lot,” said Cartwright. “What we were doing earlier in the year was working for us so we’ve just got to work our way back to that sort of form and a lot of it is to do with confidence when you lose a couple in a row.”


North Queensland have named captain Johnathan Thurston in its side for Monday’s clash against Souths at ANZ Stadium, which virtually means they will contest the detrimental conduct charge against him levelled at him for abusing a referee. Thurston was hit with the unusual charge of detrimental conduct that includes a base price of 125 points. With a previous non-similar charge adding 25 per cent loading, Thurston would still get 112 points and miss a week if he plead guilty.


Panthers coach Matt Elliott has shown faith in his charges after the loss to South Sydney, with Gavin Cooper promoted to the starting line-up for the injured Frank Pritchard in the only change to the starting side.


NSW centre Matt Cooper returns for the Dragons at the expense of young-gun Kyle Stanley in the only change to the 17.