Sport Sharks drop Fifita amid round-one shocks
Gallen's impassioned defence of fallen star
Paul Gallen has launched an impassioned defence of former teammate Andrew Fifita after he was dropped to reserves.Fifita turned out for the Newtown Jets over the weekend, the Sharks' feeder side in the NSW Cup, marking a difficult milestone in the 2016 premiership winner's career.
Cronulla have dropped Andrew Fifita from their round-one NRL side with the former Kangaroos forward's omission one of several shocks around the league.
Fifita was on Tuesday named on an extended bench for the Sharks' clash with St George Illawarra, while recruit Aiden Tolman could also only claim a bench spot.
Fifita has battled injuries in recent years and had niggles over the summer, but had spoken about his efforts to drop 15 kilograms over the summer.
The Tongan powerhouse started just three games for the Sharks last year, but John Morris' decision to go with Tolman, Jack Williams and Billy Magoulias ahead of Fifita on the bench is still a surprise.
Team lists: Broncos make surprise halves call
NRL teams for round one are in and the league's coaches have made some stunning decisions.Marshall, 36, has been named in the No.14 jersey and will come off the interchange for the Rabbitohs.
Fellow representative prop Dylan Napa has been left on the bench for Canterbury's season opener against Newcastle.
New Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett has also been forced to apply for an exemption early, with school teacher Bradley Deitz in as the bench hooker.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is another big name back on the bench for the Sydney Roosters, with Saturday's clash with Manly to be the first time he's come off the bench since 2018.
Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler also sprung a shock with Dylan Walker named at fullback to fill in for Tom Trbojevic, while Kieran Foran has been confirmed as five-eighth ahead of Josh Schuster.
North Queensland marquee man Valentine Holmes has been relegated to a wing spot, with Scott Drinkwater moved out of the halves and into fullback against Penrith.
Dugan backs his body to go on in the NRL
Josh Dugan has got through his most uninterrupted pre-season in four years at Cronulla, and is adamant he can go on in the NRL beyond the end of 2021.The off-contract Dugan confirmed on Tuesday his management had told the Sharks he wanted to re-sign, buoyed on by his longest pre-season in five years.
Video: Titans prepare to tackle 2021 NRL season (9News.com.au)
Holmes' fellow Queensland State of Origin winger Phil Sami has been dropped altogether at Gold Coast, with the Titans preferring Corey Thompson and Anthony Don to face the Warriors.
Meanwhile Daine Laurie's sublime trial form at fullback for Wests Tigers has cemented the No.1 jersey for him, leaving Moses Mbye to fill in at five-eighth this week.
It's expected Adam Doueihi will then wear the No.6 jersey in round two on return from suspension, with Michael Maguire opting against blooding rookie Jock Madden against Canberra.
Mbye is now on the look out for a full-time spot and at risk of going back to the bench, with Laurie's spark making him irresistible.
"He's just got that ability to score from anywhere," halfback Luke Brooks said.
"I think that's what we need. We've got some good strike players, he's looking so good.
"I could tell as soon as he came to training how good he was."
The Raiders will be without Jarrod Croker for the clash due to a shoulder injury, with Sebastian Kris the bolter to come into the centres.
Brisbane have handed Brodie Croft the No.7 spot to start the season against Parramatta ahead of Tom Dearden.
Meanwhile Tom Opacic has won the race for Michael Jennings' centre spot at the Eels.
And Benji Marshall has claimed the bench spot he had his eyes on at South Sydney, set to strike as a super sub in the No.14 jersey.
Jaguar reveals 60th birthday E-Types celebrating Norman Dewis .
The 60th birthday of the iconic Jaguar E-Type today is being celebrated with the creation of stunningly-restored Series 1 cars.The six sets of a coupé and convertible E-Type are based on the two cars used for its famous public debut at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show.