NRL Late Mail Round 10: Api in doubt, Titans plan switch

Our late mail man Adam Stiles runs through all the anticipated team changes leading into NRL Round 10.


Nathan Cleary and Jacob Gagai headlined the round nine NRL late mail, which ended up being somewhat modest in terms of late outs after that first significant update for game one.

But with further players dropping during matches as the round progressed we’re hitting that time of the season where we start looking at our trades, boosts and player counts trending in the wrong direction and really needing all the warm bodies we can get as Origin season approaches.

Therefore, knowing who could be a late in or out is becoming increasingly important.

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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Courtesy of a Tim Williams deep stalk of training photos, Jake Averillo was apparently seen passing left to right which has sparked hope that he’ll play inside Jamayne Isaako with Herbie Farnsworth (who is confirmed to be returning from his shoulder injury) on the left.

Obviously speculative here but it would bode well for Isaako’s present production since Averillo is a more willing passer.

Felise Kaufusi will spend some time at prop during the match and while not relevant for this round, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow will return next week which puts the firm timer on Trai Fuller but Tom Flegler is still a mystery. 

24 hour cuts: O’Sullivan, Wallace, Lee 


Ben Trbojevic is fine after his hamstring injury and nothing major stands out on team lists so 1-17 could be on here, or a minor bench shuffle at worst. 

24 hour cuts: Pauga, Tuaimalo Vaega, Condon 


Nathan Cleary rocked owners/holders last week by being a precautionary late out to rest his problematic hamstring. Barring a major setback he should be all systems go this week. 

Lindsay Smith occasionally finds himself swapped into the starting side so that could happen again.

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Connor Tracey was a late out last week with a quad issue and while named, he is only on the extended bench.

Could be a late inclusion at fullback but could also be held out for another week. 

Jacob Preston didn’t play last week despite being elevated to the 17 and according to Gus, he was touch and go but wanted to be there for the boys.

Supposedly should be 100% this week so a shift to starting edge wouldn’t surprise with Jaemon Salmon to lock and Kurt Mann to the bench. 

Presumably, Josh Curran could again be benched in favour of Sam Hughes but it won’t change his output much. 


Joe Ofahengaue prop, Junior Paulo bench. 

I could also see Bryce Cartwright moving back to the edge at the expense of Ryan Matterson if he’s 100%.


Named according to injuries, should be 1-17.

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Api Koroisau was has been named to start this week after missing time through back issues and I assume needs to tick the right boxes during captain’s run. 

Jake Simpkin has already been named as the utility which spells lesser minutes even if he does play. 

Nothing else stands out, should be 1-17 if Api suits up.


Tyson Frizell has finally reappeared after missing multiple weeks with a hamstring injury and will be good to go. 

Jacob Saifiti dropped out last week to deal with a foot injury.

Assuming he ticks the boxes he’ll play and could even move to starting prop in place of Daniel Saifiti in the usual swap. 

Jayden Brailey is not carrying any injuries and the limited minutes last week were due to the big minutes he’s been playing recently coming off his own injury so owners will be hoping for an uptick. 


Luciano Leilua is once again on the extended bench after a calf injury has kept him out and could return this round after last week’s false start. 

This would trigger a shuffle in the forwards, and even if he’s held out again a swap between Raymond Faitala-MarinerTom Eisenhuth and Blake Lawrie would not surprise. 


An absolute patchwork at the moment but could be bolstered by the return of Alex Johnston, who has reappeared on the extended bench.

He would replace Gehamat Shibasaki on the wing should make it through captain’s run. 

A swap in the forwards also never surprises.

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Sua Fa’alogo failed to finish the match last week with a knee issue so presumably has to be cleared as the week progresses but things look good at this stage. 

Tui Kamikamica is back on the extended bench and could come into calculations on game day after a calf injury that’s kept him out of action.


Things look straightforward here, should be 1-17


I was somewhat surprised to see Brandon Smith named after picking up a calf issue during last week’s match but the longer turnaround helps I suppose. 

A host of other returning names as well Victor RadleyDaniel Tupou and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, all of whom have been late outs over the last fortnight.

Given they are all named to start and have had multiple weeks to recover I am hopeful they won’t drop out again.

Sitili Tupouniua is again on the extended bench and could come into calculations, however with the returning cattle and the fact he’s not carrying any injuries suggests that’s his current spot in the pecking order.


Shaun Johnson’s achilles is trending in the right direction despite not having had any time off, which is great news for Warriors fans who need him out there now more than ever this season.

Nothing too surprising on TLT so apart from a semi-frequent bench shuffles there shouldn’t be any major changes. 

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Surely Chris Randall doesn’t play in the halves?

The speculation is that AJ Brimson could move to five-eighth with Keano Kini to fullback and Randall back to the bench but given Brimson’s form it could be a hard sell.

Still, the team list doesn’t read like one that will be 1-17 on game day.


Chad Townsend dropped out last week with a knee injury but should be OK to return.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if Heilum Luki starts on the edge after his successful return from injury last week with Kulifeku Finefeuiaki swapping to the bench. 

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