NRL 2024: Damien Cook and Maika Sivo dropped for round six

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Eels coach Brad Arthur has swung the selection axe following his side’s heavy loss in Canberra, with young gun Blaize Talagi, try-scoring machine Maika Sivo and prop forward Wiremu Greig all dropped.

The Talagi experiment at five-eighth is over after just two games, with Daejarn Asi brought in to face the Cowboys, with regular halfback Mitch Moses still at least six weeks away.

Sivo scored twice in the nation’s capital but was well below par, with Bailey Simonsson named on the wing and Morgan Harper recalled at centre, while there is some good news with Bryce Cartwright back from a rib injury.

There are changes galore at South Sydney, with embattled coach Jason Demetriou dropping representative hooker Damien Cook in a massive shake-up ahead of what could be his final game in charge.

Cook trained with the reserves on Tuesday and has been named 18th man, with Peter Mamouzelos set to start against the Sharks on Saturday night.

Pint-sized fullback Jye Gray will make his NRL debut in place of the suspended Latrell Mitchell, while speedster Tyrone Munro is back from injury and will play his first game of the year on the left wing.

They face a Sharks side that welcomes back Briton Nikora in the back row, with Siosifa Talakai dropping back to the bench, while big men Toby Rudolf and Braden Hamlin-Uele are lurking in the reserves in what would be a huge boost to the middle.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has had to shuffle his backline with Dom Young suspended and James Tedesco and Sam Walker both missing under the NRL’s concussion protocols.

It means Joseph Manu shifts to fullback, Michael Jennings starts at centre and Junior Pauga gets another crack on the wing for the trip to Newcastle where the hosts could get Greg Marzhew back from a wrist injury.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona has been listed in the reserves for the Storm who face a Bulldogs side that has named skipper Stephen Crichton at fullback in place of Blake Taaffe who was knocked out last week.

Kurt Mann is also out with a hand injury, but former Storm premiership winner Josh Addo-Carr returns from a head knock on the wing.

There’s good news in Brisbane with livewire fullback Reece Walsh cleared to make an early return after he suffered a facial fracture against the Panthers, with Corey Oates named on the wing and Jock Madden called in for the injured Adam Reynolds.

The battle of Brisbane has lost one of its biggest protagonists with former Broncos centre Herbie Farnworth (AC joint) ruled out, although the Dolphins have named Thomas Flegler to take on his former side.

The Warriors get Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Kurt Capewell back for their game against Manly, with the visitors shifting Ben Trbojevic to centre to replace Reuben Garrick (concussion).

Meanwhile, the Tigers have lost John Bateman and the Fainu brothers to injury while the Dragons have dropped Blake Lawrie to the bench after there were reports he was set to be axed.

And the Raiders will unleash Chevy Stewart for his NRL debut in place of fullback Jordan Rapana who is out for 6-8 weeks with a knee injury, while Corey Horsburgh (groin) is also facing up to two months on the sidelines.

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