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Round 1 teams: Cody Walker named to play, Corey Oates misses out on wing spot for Las Vegas double-header

Martin GaborNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

Souths superstar Cody Walker has overcome a calf strain and will be fine to face the Sea Eagles in Las Vegas, while a Broncos veteran has been overlooked for the historic double-header this weekend.

The Rabbitohs desperately needed their veteran five-eighth to play given they are without the suspended Jack Wighton and the injured Campbell Graham who could be out for six months following surgery on his injured sternum.

Cody Walker has been named to play despite hurting his calf a few weeks ago. NRL Photos
Camera IconCody Walker has been named to play despite hurting his calf a few weeks ago. NRL Photos Credit: The Daily Telegraph

The Bunnies will also be missing winger Tyrone Munro which has opened the door for Jacob Gagai to make his NRL debut at the ripe old age of 28 after the club successfully campaigned to have a one-game ban served in the All Stars match.

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Sean Keppie will start in the front row against his former side, with the Sea Eagles set to unleash three Trbojevic brothers for the game at Allegiant Stadium.

Tom is back after a torn pec suffered in State of Origin wiped out the back half of his season, while Ben Trbojevic has won a starting spot on the left edge on the back of strong trial form that saw him score a first-half hat-trick against the Bunnies earlier this month.

Luke Brooks played a key role in those tries and he’ll be keen for more highlights as he runs out for his first NRL game since leaving the Wests Tigers.

He’s not the only fresh face in the Sea Eagles side with Jaxson Paulo winning the race to play on the left wing, while journeyman Nathan Brown will come off the bench after he recently earned a spot in their top 30.

Roosters fans can breathe a sigh of relief with 2022 Golden Boot winner Joseph Manu named to play despite only flying out of Sydney on Tuesday following the birth of his first child.

He forms a potent right-edge combination with rugby-bound Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii, with Roosters coach Trent Robinson facing a selection headache in round two when Dom Young returns from a neck injury.

Prized recruit Spencer Leniu slots straight into the starting side in a beefed up front row alongside Lindsay Collins, while Sitili Tupouniua and Siua Wong start in the back row ahead of former rep star Angus Crichton who missed out on the 17.

Corey Oates has missed out on Brisbane 17 for the game in Las Vegas.
Camera IconCorey Oates has missed out on Brisbane 17 for the game in Las Vegas. Credit: Supplied

Corey Oates is the hard luck story of the Vegas venture with the Broncos veteran named as 18th man with Deine Mariner set to start on the wing.

It’s a blow for the 29-year-old who has scored 118 tries for the club but faces a fight to win back his spot.

Excitement machine Selwyn Cobbo’s move to centre has been confirmed, while Brendan Piakura has overcome a pre-season injury and will start in the back row.

Originally published as Round 1 teams: Cody Walker named to play, Corey Oates misses out on wing spot for Las Vegas double-header

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