Dogs coach Des Hasler has called on Moses Mbye and Reni Maitua to replace NSW halves Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds for the clash with the Roosters.
Canterbury coach Des Hasler has called upon rookie superstar Moses Mbye and NRL stalwart Reni Maitua to fill the void left at the NRL competition leaders by halves Trent Hodkinson’s and Josh Reynolds’ selection for NSW.
The outright premiership frontrunners have been decimated by State of Origin commitments for their round-11 clash with the struggling Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on Friday.
The Bulldogs have also lost centre Josh Morris and back-rower Tony Williams to the Blues side for the Origin opener next Wednesday.
Considered one of the NRL’s future superstars, playmaker Mbye has only played one first-grade match for the Bulldogs, at centre in their round-eight win over Newcastle.
Maitua, 31, has been handed the chance to rejuvenate his career, it will be his first game since he returned to Belmore for the 2014 season, 10 years since his first played for the club.
Out-of-favour Krisnan Inu also has the chance to kickstart his year, in his first NRL game of the season in place of Morris.
Pat O’Hanlan replaces Williams on the Dogs bench with Dale Finucane starting.
Nathan Merritt returns from NSW Cup at fullback for South Sydney in replacing Greg Inglis, while Bryson Goodwin’s error-riddled performance against Melbourne has him demoted to the bench for Monday’s clash with Cronulla at Remondis Stadium.
Daniel Holdsworth slots into five-eighth for the Sharks for Todd Carney (hamstring).
Meanwhile, Gold Coast coach John Cartwright has challenged Dave Taylor to inspire a weakened Titans following his State of Origin snub.
Taylor was overlooked by Queensland selectors for next week’s State of Origin series opener despite the indifferent form of Chris McQueen and Josh Papalii.
But his omission at least means one of Cartwright’s big names is available for Saturday’s clash with the Warriors at Robina.
“He has to (step up) if that (playing Origin) is his ambition,” Cartwright said of Taylor.
“They’re not going to want guys who kick stones and I’ve got no doubt he won’t.
“He’s in the best form he’s been in at our club over the last six weeks and I expect him to do the same.”
Aidan Sezer (pectoral) and Ash Harrison (neck) are both long-term casualties while Nate Myles (Maroons) and Greg Bird (suspended) are also unavailable.
Albert Kelly will return in place of Sezer.
Wests Tigers have picked Joel Luani to replace NSW hooker Robbie Farah while Marty Taupau starts at prop for Aaron Woods.
Brisbane, their opponents for Saturday’s fixture at Campbelltown Stadium, have named Ben Hannant, Lachlan Maranta and Jake Granville with Matt Gillett, Justin Hodges and Corey Parker on Queensland Origin duty.
Recruit Martin Kennedy has also been recalled to an extended bench after his demotion to Queensland Cup last weekend.
Curtis Rona, Ray Thompson, Jason Taumalolo, Ashton Sims and Ethan Lowe have come into North Queensland’s Origin-hit side for their Sunday match against Canberra in the nation’s capital.
Talented playmaker Mitch Cornish will make his NRL debut from the interchange bench for the Raiders.