NRL Team List
The NRL is just under a month away which means it is time for trials! Traditionally the preseason hit out against Penrith has been Parramatta’s serious tune-up game ahead of Round 1 but 2023 has switched things up and it now slots in as the first trial for the Blue & Gold. Thus instead of a full-strength roster we get see to an exotic blend of new faces, young talent and core stars this Saturday as the Eels take on the Panthers.
Anchoring the team, well at least for roughly half the game, will be Josh Hodgson, Shaun Lane and Ryan Matterson. It is safe to say that all eyes will be on Parramatta’s new dummy-half. While the club was widely panned for losing Reed Mahoney to the Canterbury Bulldogs, Hodgson has set an unbelievable standard in the NRL preseason as seen in Sixties’ training reports over the summer. There will be no Mitchell Moses, Dylan Brown or Clinton Gutherson on Saturday night but even so there is a palpable sense of expectation on the seasoned rake to see what impact he can make in his first outing as an Eel.
NRL.com has Lane slated as captain this week, a minor but deserving gong for one of Parramatta’s finest last year.
Beyond that, this is a team brimming with young players and new faces looking to make their mark. Sean Russell has trained at wing and centre over the preseason but Brad Arthur has given him a chance to impress at fullback this week. The rest of the backline is filled with hungry NRL prospects as new recruit Isaac Lumelume joins young guns Matthew Komolafe, Samuel Loizou and Zac Cini. With Tom Opacic and Hayze Perham no longer at the club, the battle on the depth charts is very much on and good showings this weekend could shake things up.
Jordan Rankin and Jake Arthur will steer the team around the park with Ofahiki Ogden and Ky Rodwell looking to set the tone in the front row. Both the starting bookends are pushing for inclusion on the bench for Round 1 but will need to outplay the likes of Wiremu Greig and Makahesi Makatoa to secure those spots.
Intriguingly, Jirah Momoisea looks to have edged ahead of Matt Doorey in recent weeks in battle to fill Isaiah Papali’i’s vacant spot on the right edge. He gets the start this week but will surely face extremely stiff competition from Doorey. Whoever ends up getting the nod here will ultimately start on the right edge in Round 1 while the runner-up will work from the interchange bench.
Outside of the Top 17 there are a cadre of players who can enhance their stock this weekend. Tony (Toni) Mataele, Tevita Taumoepenu and Jontay Betham-Misa are young forwards who I am hoping can really take big step forwards this year while Jayden Yates and Brendan Hands could be locked in a fierce contest to be the third string dummy half
While the Eels have named Daejarn Asi, Haze Dunster, Jacke Murchie and Junior Paulo, I would be surprised to see any of them play this weekend for a variety of reasons between injury and simply ramping up returns for Round 1.
For their part, the Panthers have named a young and inexperienced team this weekend. It should come as little surprise though given their focus will be on the looming clash with St Helens in the revamped ‘Preseaon Challenge’. It leaves the Eels with a slight advantage in recognised NRL stars in Hodgson, Lane and Matterson but otherwise sets the table for a good encounter on Saturday!
1 Sean Russell
2 Matt Komolafe
3 Samuel Loizou
4 Zac Cini
5 Isaac Lumelume
6 Jordan Rankin
7 Jake Arthur
8 Ofahiki Ogden
9 Josh Hodgson
10 Ky Rodwell
11 Shaun Lane
12 Jirah Momoisea
13 Ryan Matterson
14 Matt Doorey
15 Mitch Rein
16 Wiremu Greig
17 Makahesi Makatoa
18 Tony Mataele
19 Jayden Yates
20 Dan Keir
21 Luca Moretti
22 Tevita Taumoepenu
23 Jontay Betham-Misa
24 Daejarn Asi
25 Haze Dunster
26 Jack Murchie
27 Brendan Hands
28 Junior Paulo
We’ll be interested to see how team plays how they combine in attack and defence,,We’ll be watching with interest.
Well be interested in how they play together how they combine in defence attack,
He’s in the All Stars game over in NZ.
Sorry! I thought it strange.
Great way to express the move to blood some new players. All will benefit.
“ Thus instead of a full-strength roster we get see to an exotic blend of new faces, young talent and core stars this Saturday as the Eels take on the Panthers.”
As always. Thanks. Martin.
Thanks 60s and co for all you do. Interesting to see how the backrow develops in the early stages of the season. Gonna maybe have to think of a good one liner for Jirah the “Sheerer”… can do better lol. Just wanted to add my two cents and say I watched the Gutho and Moses interview’s on the main site. I gotta say I havent seen that level of maturity from Gutho and Moses and they look really swtiched on this season. Very impressive, subtle things i notice but they didnt present like that last season to the media. Theyve… Read more »
On reflection that banter has been down a bit at training. Been a bit more business from the senior players.
If only Jordan Rankin was in the top 30, I would be happy.
He has quite a busy role with playing and coaching the junior reps
It just goes to show how weak our junior systems are when we continue to play Jordan rankin
What’s wrong with Rankin.
Interesting squad. As long as there are no injuries and the players have a good hit out I’ll be happy.
Giving the fringe players a chance to impress mate.
Exactly. I’ll enjoy the game but not read anything into the score
Glad Moretti is still in the picture. Still think he has something. Dan Keir also looked OK from the few times I saw him play.
Dan has had a very good preseason
Bring it on, can’t wait
We are looking very weak for the opening rounds.
Yes how so?
Wait n see when we are 0 and 4
Glass not even half full completely empty
Im just preparing everyone on here
Hope we don’t give too much away….. Is a only a trial after all!
Glad to have footy back.
They’ll keep things up their sleeve. All teams do
Hey sixties, thanks for all your excellent reports. Just wondering if we went away in any camps this pre-season?
Not that I’m aware of
I’m glad to see Russell getting a go at fullback. I think he’s got class.
I am a fan. In the few times we saw him in 1st grade, always switched on, always applying himself, a ton of energy, strong defence…
Agree Anon, Russell, Dunstan are our future. I can see Russell being another Gutho.
I’m tipping a big year from
Any news on Jock Brazel?
He looked to be training well in earlier sessions.
Will he be a nsw cup player this year?
Just watching a replay of the Warriors Tigers game. The left centre for the Warriors looks the goods.
Big thing 100kg, very quick and good game awareness. Only 20 years old. He is a Tongan national.