There will be added interest in the second Grand Final rematch between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters with Sonny Bill Williams named on the bench to make his first NRL appearance since 2014 at GIO Stadium on Saturday night, 5 September.
The 35-year-old Williams has been one of the biggest names in professional rugby since making his NRL debut in 2004, and there is sure to be plenty of attention on him as he makes his much-anticipated return to the Roosters.
Despite his stature in world rugby, Williams is only the second biggest inclusion for the Roosters side this weekend, with star five-eighth Luke Keary named to make an early return from a rib complaint.
Keary has been in sublime form for the Roosters this year and is destined to make his NSW debut in State of Origin at the end of the season.
Angus Crichton and Mitchell Aubusson are also a chance to return from injury with both players named on the reserves list.
The Canberra Raiders made just the one change from their victory over the Bulldogs last week, with Corey Harawira-Naera returning to the bench in place of Matt Timoko.
Curtis Scott was cleared of any serious damage to his leg after leaving the field early last week and has been named to take his usual place in the centres.
Josh Papalii, Ryan Sutton and Joe Tapine have been named to start as the Raiders three middle forwards, but Ricky Stuart has made late changes the past two weeks so we’ll have to wait until just before kick-off to see exactly how the Raiders take to the field.
The Raiders defeated the Roosters 24-20 in their first meeting back in round 10 at the SCG in a thrilling contest and this shapes as a similar contest.
A victory will see the fifth-placed Raiders leapfrog the Roosters into fourth position on the ladder and put them in pole position to claim a top four position with just three matches left after this round.
|1||Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad||1||James Tedesco|
|2||Jordan Rapana||2||Daniel Tupou|
|3||Jarrod Croker||3||Josh Morris|
|4||Curtis Scott||4||Joseph Manu|
|5||Nick Cotric||5||Brett Morris|
|6||Jack Wighton||6||Luke Keary|
|7||George Williams||7||Kyle Flanagan|
|8||Josh Papalii||8||Jared Warea-Hargreaves|
|9||Siliva Havili||9||Jake Friend|
|10||Ryan Sutton||10||Siosiua Taukeiaho|
|11||John Bateman||11||Boyd Cordner|
|12||Elliott Whitehead||12||Sitili Tupouniua|
|13||Joe Tapine||13||Isaac Liu|
|14||Tom Starling||14||Freddy Lussick|
|15||Dunamis Lui||15||Lindsay Collins|
|16||Hudson Young||16||Nat Butcher|
|17||Corey Harawira-Naera||17||Sonny Bill Wiliiams|
|18||Sam Williams||18||Angus Crichton|
|19||Matt Timoko||19||Mitchell Aubusson|
|20||Kai O’Donnell||20||Poasa Faamusili|
|21||Semi Valemei||21||Drew Hutchison|