Late Mail Round 0: Popular cheapie falls in Vegas

Late mail man Adam Stiles brings you all the teams news heading in the Vegas NRL Round 0 fixtures.


G’day everyone, I could not be more excited for not only footy being back this weekend and the Broncos being front and centre beneath the bright Vegas lights, but also bringing you my first article as an official Playbook contributor. 

I’m sure a few of you are familiar with me from my previous work with the NRLSCTalk team, headlined by my emoji-laden updates on X/Twitter or my foray into the fantastic Playbook WhatsApp community.

For those who are just hearing of my existence now I’m a massive Broncos fan and a big SuperCoach nerd (315th last season and a top finish of 204th) who aims to bring you all the latest mail across the round by way of this article and the aforementioned socials.

As a reminder, this article will be up-to-date at time of publishing, however keep across the SC Playbook official accounts on X/Twitter and Instagram for the 24 hour and game day team updates, and @AStilesAuthor on X/Twitter for a ton of other player and team updates across the season.

With that said, let’s rip and tear into the first mail for 2024.

SUBSCRIBE TO SC PLAYBOOK IN 2024! Access extra premium articles during the pre-season and every round, access our subscriber only Whatsapp group with contributor feedback, late mail and other threads, our major unlimited group prize and plenty more. SIGN UP HERE!

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No real surprises on TLT so barring any Vegas mishaps I’m expecting the Sea Eagles to run out 1-17. Luke Brooks has apparently been training away from the main group with a minor injury – no specifics given – but he will be good to go.


Those who have followed my articles over the years know that it’s almost written into the club contracts that there will be a shuffle at the prop position (or at least somewhere in the forward pack) for Souths regardless of who is named on any given week.

But I’ll start 2024 with a clean slate and assume that the pack will run out as is for now, despite sporting a particularly forward-heavy bench. 

Cody Walker was in some doubt earlier in the pre-season but nothing suggests he won’t be good to go.

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That whole bench makeup gives me pause as there’s so much talent on the outside looking in, along with any number of edge combinations that could be deployed. But much like the Bunnies, given it’s the first round I’m adopting an ‘innocent until proven guilty’ mindset in relation to assuming changes.

However, I’ll be keeping a close eye on Spencer Leniu and Terrell May, along with all edge players both in and outside the 17.

I believe that Angus Crichton at least has been intentionally left out to light a fire in him with Rugby Australia looming, and is unlikely to be a late inclusion.

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The first cheapie has fallen in Xavier Willison. There was speculation prior to TLT that he wouldn’t make the cut, so his naming turned out to be smoke and mirrors with Marty Taupau tipped to earn the final bench spot in his place.

Brendan Piakura sent a scare through the SuperCoach community with his trial injury but he has been cleared to take the field.

There is also speculation that there could be another late change – Corey Oates replacing Deine Mariner has been suggested – with everyone hopeful that it does not involve the aforementioned Piakura (with nothing at this stage suggesting he won’t take the field).

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