Halfback Peter Wallace has been named to make his return from an ankle injury for Penrith’s round 20 NRL match against Cronulla.
Playmaker Peter Wallace will make a surprise return from an ankle injury to the Penrith side for their round 20 match against Cronulla on Sunday.
After sustaining the injury in the Panthers’ round 17 win over Wests Tigers, it was initially feared Wallace could be out for the season.
Diagnosis was then wheeled back to six weeks but the former Brisbane halfback will make a timely return after just two games on the sideline.
His inclusion is a massive boost for the second placed Panthers who have slipped from the top of the NRL ladder courtesy of their 32-12 round 19 loss to premiers the Sydney Roosters.
The Panthers’ charge to the finals has hit the wobbles in his absence, with second-choice half Tyrone Peachey sidelined for the rest of the year with a pectoral muscle injury.
Stand-in half Bryce Cartwright, who was one of the Panthers’ best in the loss against the tricolours, moves to the second row.
Captain Paul Gallen hasn’t been named for the Sharks as he battles a biceps problem but he could be a late inclusion.
South Sydney coach Michael Maguire will persist with Adam Reynolds in the Rabbitohs’ halves alongside John Sutton for Monday’s round-20 away clash with Canberra.
Luke Keary has been retained on a 19-man bench.
Reynolds’ role at the club continues to be under the spotlight. Keary instantaneously turned Souths last-start match against Parramatta around when he was injected into the action in the 65th minute after Reynolds had struggled.
In just his second game back from a pectoral muscle injury suffered at the pre-season Auckland Nines, Keary showed just why he is rated so highly at Redfern in steering the Rabbitohs to a 32-12 victory at the back end of the game.
Souths scored 16 points in the final 15 minutes when Keary was on the park to run away with the win.
Maguire said post-match his halves pairing would continue to evolve after he had said pre-season he was looking to Keary and Reynolds as his No.6 and No.7 partners in 2014.
But now Sutton is his first choice five-eighth, with Reynolds and Keary left to fight it out over the halfback spot.
Kurt Gidley (groin) has been ruled out of Newcastle’s match with premiers Sydney Roosters at Hunter Stadium on Friday. He is replaced at halfback by Tyrone Roberts.
Prop Luke Bailey will miss Gold Coast’s home clash with Parramatta on Saturday with a hamstring problem.
Greg Bird returns from suspension to the Titans’ pack with Dave Taylor remaining in the centres after his starring effort in the upset win against Newcastle.
Matt Gillett returns from an ankle injury for Brisbane’s Friday night fixture against Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium.
Josh Morris returns in the centres for Canterbury’s match against North Queensland at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
Winger Ngani Laumape is back for the Warriors for David Fusitu’a, for Sunday’s match against premiership leaders Manly at Mt Smart Stadium.
St George Illawarra caretaker coach Paul McGregor has added Shane Pumipi and Charly Runciman to his six-man bench for Sunday’s ANZ clash against Wests Tigers.
The match is Benji Marshall’s first against his former side.