Latrell Mitchell’s involvement in the All Stars means Jacob Gagai and Jye Gray will spend time at fullback for South Sydney, who have named close to a full-strength side for Saturday’s Charity Shield showdown against St George Illawarra.
Dean Hawkins comes into the halves for the injured Cody Walker to partner Lachie Ilias, while Damien Cook has been kept on ice, with Peter Mamouzelos to start at dummy-half.
Parramatta have rested most of their top-liners against Canberra, but there is a lot of excitement about the prospects of Blaize Talagi. The young fullback will not succeed Clint Gutherson any time soon, but he has been a standout coming through the grades, with good judges likening his footwork and graceful movement to teammate Dylan Brown.
Brisbane, like fellow Vegas-bound clubs the Roosters and Souths, will go all out against North Queensland in what will be a steamy Mackay at 3pm on Sunday.
Jayden Sullivan and Aiden Sezer start in the halves for the Wests Tigers, who spent Tuesday jet-boating in New Zealand, with rookie Lachlan Galvin at No.14 for the trial against the Warriors.
Meanwhile, All Stars players are expected to be regularly rotated on Friday given the blistering heat and humidity in Townsville. Both coaches are mindful not to push their players too hard, especially the handful of stars due to fly to Las Vegas early next week.
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