How injury returns will impact SuperCoach stars

Here's how we think key SuperCoach players will be impacted by the delay to the NRL season.

Expert Analysis

When the NRL resumes several teams will have a very different line-up to Rounds 1 and 2, mainly due to a number of injured players returning to the field.

There is a silver lining to the NRL being suspended after Round 2, that is we get a look at these new line-ups before price changes.

Below are key players returning from injury and the affect they will have on the team line-ups and their SuperCoach scores.

*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key on all SuperCoach relevant abbreviations.

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John Bateman (shoulder)

Bateman will slot back onto the right edge for the Raiders, pushing Joe Tapine ($362,400, 50PPG, B/E 11) into the middle rotation.

As a result, Tapine and Corey Horsburgh ($375,700, 57PPG, B/E 1) will have to share minutes in the middle rotation and it is likely they both have reduced SuperCoach output, although Tapine’s output will suffer the most.

Guler ($220,700, 69PPG, B/E -70) has had a cracking start to the year looking good on the field with great minutes and SuperCoach scores.

There’s a chance Bateman’s return may force Guler out of the side, but it’s more likely he plays reduced minutes.

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Matt Moylan (calf/hamstring), Bronson Xerri (shoulder) and Josh Dugan (knee)

Xerri will come in for the outgoing Josh Morris who has left for the Roosters.

Matt Moylan looks likely to replace Will Kennedy ($242,600, 45PPM, B/E -16) at fullback. Although there is a chance Dugan will go to fullback if Moylan continues his injury nightmares.

If Moylan is fit, Dugan will likely come in for popular buy Sione Katoa ($368,000, 52PPG, B/E -43) or Ronaldo Mulitalo ($467,000, 15PPG, B/E 113).

Brandon Smith (eye) and Christian Welch (ACL)

Brandon Smith and Christian Welch will both be healthy once the NRL resumes.

Both players were highly regarded at the Storm and will slot back into the middle rotation.

This will likely push one or both of Tui Kamikamica ($295,800, 63PPM, B/E -35) and Tino Faasuamaleaui ($217,500, 37PPG, B/E -7) out of the side, or at the very least reduce their minutes.

Looking at the minutes, Kamikamica is probably more likely to keep his spot out of the two.

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Jazz Tevaga (ankle) and Agnatius Paasi (ankle)

Tevaga, and Paasi will all be available for selection once the NRL resumes.

It is hard to say if Paasi makes the side, but it would be a safe bet that Tevaga walks back into the lock position.

The selection of one or two of these players could potentially impact on Jamayne Taunoa-Brown ($171,900, 41 PPG, B/E -29) and Eliesa Katoa ($171,900, 51 PPG, B/E -49)

Given Stephen Kearney’s track record with regular team changes, I wouldn’t be surprised if Katoa and JTB get moved around.

AJ Brimson (back)

Brimson’s return will see Phillip Sami ($415,100, 47PPG, B/E 33) move back to the wing in place of Dale Copley ($391,600, 28PPG, B/E 64).

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Cameron McInnes (knee)

It’s hard to say who will be impacted by McInnes’ return, but he will likely spend most of his time at hooker and a small amount of time at lock.

The biggest risk of losing minutes would be the current lock Blake Lawrie ($442,100, 56 PPG, BE 23).

Pending the delay, Jack de Belin may also re-enter the frame if allowed to return to play.

The likes of Jacob Host, Tyrell Fuimaono, Josh Kerr and Trent Merrin would all struggle to see minutes with one or both men returning.

Kurt Capewell (quad) and Dylan Edwards (ankle)

Capewell will likely come onto the bench as a utility for Will Burns ($231,400, 15PPG, B/E 41) or Stephen Crichton ($252,800, 40PPG, B/E -3).

Capewell could also potentially affect the role Isaah Yeo ($404,800, 78PPG, B/E -32) plays in the team and his minutes.

Capewell’s return will create a back-row logjam with Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Viliame Kikau and Liam Martin.

Edwards will be available for selection, but it will be interesting to see what Cleary does with Crichton as he seemed to be considering Crichton for a starting role, in the Round 2 press conference

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Alex Glenn (hamstring) and Matt Lodge (Knee) and Joe Ofahengaue (suspension)

Glenn will slot into an edge position, pushing cheapie Jamil Hopoate ($171,900, 33PPG, BE -13) back to the bench or even out of the team with Joe Ofahengaue coming back into the team after a suspension.

It’s hard to say if Lodge will recover from a partial ACL tear. If he does that will definitely mean Hopoate will be out of the side and may see Thomas Flegler ($294,900, 63PPG, BE -36) reduced minutes.

Ofahengaue’s return will have big implications on the prized Broncos forward pack in SuperCoach.

It’s unsure whether or not Anthony Seibold will start Ofa at lock, pushing Pat Carrigan ($326,300, 59PPG, B/E -19) to the bench, allowing Flegler to remain at prop.

This would be a huge blow to the credentials of Carrigan. Such is the regard for Carrigan at Red Hill you’d think they’ll do their best to keep him in a starting role.

He may also opt to play Ofa at prop, shifting Flegler to the bench and allowing Carrigan to remain at lock.

This shouldn’t impact Flegler’s minute too significantly (perhaps 5-10 less minutes) and would allow Carrigan to play increased game time.

With close to a full pack available, Payne Haas may also see a reduction in his 80-minutes played in the opening two rounds.

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Phoenix Crossland (groin) and Bradman Best (foot)

The word out of Newcastle in early pre-season was that Crossland had a good grip on the 5/8 role and Best had locked down the left centre spot.

Kurt Mann ($287,100, 54PPG, B/E -20), Enari Tuala ($285,400, 36PPG, B/E 15) and Gehamat Shibasaki ($286,400, 39PPG, BE 10) are at risk if Crossland and Best came into the starting line-up.

Coach O’Brien will be less likely to change the team up after winning two straight games, although I do think Best will start over Tuala.

Boyd Cordner (rested)

If Cordner is adequately rested when the NRL resumes he will come in for Angus Crichton ($530,100, 67PPG, B/E 28) or Mitch Aubusson ($410,100, 50PPG, B/E 26), pushing one of them back to the bench.

Crichton was playing in Cordner’s left edge position in Round 2. It will be interesting to see which way Robinson goes, with the more dangerous Crichton or Mr reliable Aubusson.

Aubusson was the preferred option throughout 2019.

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Luke Brooks (calf), Moses Mbye (knee) and Jacob Liddle (knee)

Mbye looks likely to slot into left centre and push Adam Douehi ($343,100, 31PPG, B/E 43) into fullback.

Even if Douehi keeps the centre spot, he will be getting more opportunities with Brooks back on the left side.

New recruit Harry Grant is expected to start at hooker when the competition resumes.

There’s a chance Jacob Liddle will be available for selection and potentially jag the bench spot over Walters ($201,000, 49PPG, B/E -36).

I believe Madge will stick with Walters over Liddle given his versatility to play a number of different positions.

SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM= Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

BREAKEVEN (B/E) = The score a player must record to earn a price rise.

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