Late Mail Round 7: Club Stars Set To Return

Late mail man Adam Stiles brings you all the last-minute team news heading into Round 7.


Round 6 was actually looking reasonably straight-forward until about the halfway mark.

Sure there were late changes, some impactful ones, but it was ticking away at about a rate of one change for every 1-17.

All was right with the world.

Then we stumbled into a new season of (Ethan) Stranger Things. But I’m going to leave that debacle in the past and focus on round 7.

As usual, all the updates across the round will come via @scplaybook1 on X/Twitter and Instagram, as well as myself @AStilesAuthor (X/Twitter only).

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Sam Walker was named on the extended bench in a bid to return from his concussion, but he failed to pass protocols so will be held out for another week. 

In positive news, James Tedesco should return from his own concussion.

24 hour cuts: McCathie, Ioelu, Walker


No late changes expected for the Storm. Should be 1-17.

24 hour cuts: Bradley, Pezet, Lewis


Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been named to start: THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

This could be the first week in a while that his name doesn’t feature in my game day post with Luciano Leilua missing.

Other shuffles in the forwards are always possible for the Dragons, but for now I will assume they run out as is. 


The Warriors actually ran out as named last round after multiple weeks of mass game day changes, which gives me hope for another 1-17.


Death. Taxes. Junior Paulo to the bench with Joe Ofahengaue starting. Currently paying Winx odds to happen again.

Although not a weekly occurrence, Coach Arthur has shown his hand at moving other forwards around on game day so while nothing stands out on paper, and ignoring the above prop swap as a given, it never surprises to see some shuffles on game day.


Part of me hopes to see Valynce Te Whare somehow find his way from the extended bench into the 17, but the Phins are named according to their outs and often refrain from game day changes that aren’t injury-forced.’

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There was speculation that Taylan May wouldn’t be named due to a certain social media post, it seems he’ll be there for now after getting the nod on TLT.

Fresh off a bye I’m expecting 1-17 with Jarome Luai and Scott Sorensen ready to go after their respective knee injuries.

Not relevant for the present, but James Fisher-Harris has been granted a release to join the Warriors at the end of the season.


John Bateman and Samuela Fainu should both be fine to return from their respective concussions, and Latu Fainu from a hamstring injury, so I’m not expecting any changes for the Tigers.


David Fifita was a late benching last round and while logic dictates that shouldn’t happen again, I’d be on the lookout.

No other major shuffles expected after being named largely according to last week’s late changes.


The cavalry returns for Manly in the form of Jason Saab, Reuben Garrick, Matt Lodge and Nathan Brown from their respective injuries.

Barring any setbacks, all are expected to play at this stage so 1-17 could be on.

Lachlan Croker is listed with a shoulder injury but should also play.


The Broncos are another side that is largely picking and sticking to their TLT selections, so another 1-17 wouldn’t surprise.

I will say however that the bench makeup is slightly odd so a minor shuffle there makes sense.


With Albert Hopoate nowhere to be seen, and presently no rumours surrounding Ethan Strange, the Raiders could run out 1-17 again.

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It seemed like there were as many late swaps after kick-off as there were an hour out last week for the Bulldogs, and they are becoming known for bulk changes and testing my X character limits. 

I can see key names on the extended bench including Max King – who was a late out last week – Liam Knight and Jake Turpin, none of whom would shock to come into the 17 somewhere.

I’m also far from convinced that Josh CurranSam Hughes and Jaemon Salmon remain where they were named, based on recent weeks. 

Blake Taaffe is set to return from his head knock.


Kalyn Ponga was hampered for most of the last round with a hip injury and while he’s expected to play, he is doubtful to kick goals and owners will hope he doesn’t aggravate it.

Those looking to bring in Greg Marzhew in the coming weeks were disappointed to see him return – and then be named this round – on the right wing, however we may be in for a treat with the big man looking set to switch back to the left where he does a huge amount of damage.

He comes surging back into calculations.


Things look reasonably straightforward for the Sharks this week, could be another 1-17.

Next week could be a different beast however with Dale Finucane and Royce Hunt on the horizon.


Another side named according to injuries, I’m not expecting any significant changes to the side come game day.

Jack Gosiewski looks like he will be off to the Broncos in the coming rounds.

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