NRL 2024: Blaize Talagi to start in the halves for Parramatta

The Eels have put their faith in young gun Blaize Talagi who will line up in the halves for the Easter Monday clash against the Wests Tigers in place of the injured Mitchell Moses who will be out for up to two months with a fractured foot.

Talagi had a strong debut last week with a try against the Sea Eagles, but he’ll shift to five-eighth with Dylan Brown named at halfback.

There is some good news for Parramatta who have named Bryce Cartwright despite fears he could be out for up to a month with a rib injury.

It’s another week of carnage for halfbacks with rep star Nathan Cleary ruled out of Thursday’s showdown with the Roosters after he hurt his hamstring in the win over Brisbane.

The injury isn’t as bad as first feared, with the club hopeful he could return next week, but his absence opens the door for Brad Schneider to make his club debut in the halves, while Mavrik Geyer, son of Panther’s great Mark, is set to play his maiden NRL game off the bench.

The Roosters have their own concerns with Lindsay Collins (hamstring) and Sandon Smith (elbow) both unavailable, but they do get Luke Keary back from a head knock and halves partner Sam Walker is free to play after his category one was downgraded.

Souths have opted against rushing Lachlan Ilias back into the halves despite a strong performance in reserve grade last week, with Dean Hawkins keeping his spot for the must win game against Canterbury.

The Broncos welcome back skipper Adam Reynolds from a knee injury for the Queensland derby against the unbeaten Cowboys, with Tristan Sailor brought in to replace Reece Walsh (facial fracture).

Brendan Piakura is also out for Brisbane after he hurt his ankle at training, with North Queensland naming Reuben Cotter even though he came off late last week with an ankle injury.

The Sharks have been forced into a stack of changes with middle forwards Toby Rudolf (ankle), Dale Finucane (head knock) and Royce Hunt (calf) all unavailable for Sunday’s game against Canberra.

That’s forced a reshuffle with Siosifa Talakai shifting to the back row, Kayal Iro will start at centre and Tom Hazelton has been promoted to the starting side.

Warriors coach Andrew Webster has been forced to move superstar Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to fullback with Taine Tuaupiki (concussion) ruled out of the game against Newcastle, with Adam Pompey to start at centre.

And the Titans get some much needed firepower back this week with Jayden Campbell named at fullback, while David Fifita has been listed in the reserves for what would be his first game of the year.

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