Melbourne Storm is in line to regain three starting players from injury for Saturday’s Multicultural Round clash with the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Stadium.
Xavier Coates (SC joint) and Justin Olam (fractured arm) have been selected in the backline – Coates after missing one round following his injury against Parramatta in the season opener and Olam for his first NRL game after his setback in the trial game against the Roosters in Geelong.
Tui Kamikamica is set to make his first appearance for the season after picking up a foot tendon injury in the warm-up to the Warriors trial in Christchurch. His inclusion will help to offset the loss of fellow prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona who will be out for six to eight weeks after sustaining an MCL injury against the Bulldogs on Saturday night.
Selected on the Storm interchange bench for the first time is NSW State of Origin forward Tariq Sims, who missed the trials and opening two rounds while he recovered from two calf injuries in the off-season, while NSW Under-20s Origin representative Jonah Pezet has been named in the No.14 jersey.
All three returning starters and Sims will need to be cleared after training this week before making the trip to Queensland.
A decision on whether Pezet will make his debut will be made after captains run training on Friday.
In the squad named today, Coates replaces Grant Anderson, who has been selected on the reserves list along with Young Tonumaipea who started in the centres during Olam’s absence.
Multicultural Round 2023 will be a celebration of the diverse cultural backgrounds that make up the rugby league community.
The round’s central message is “Stronger Together” – recognising, respecting and celebrating diverse cultural heritage at all levels of the game.
In the NRL, players represent 63 different national heritages, with almost a third of players (29%) born outside Australia and half (51%) having at least one parent born overseas. Forty-five percent of players identify as Pasifika, while ten percent identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
The Storm squad of 22 contains players with 13 different cultural backgrounds.
Match: Titans v Storm
Round 3 -
Fullback for Titans is number 1 AJ BrimsonFullback for Storm is number 1 Nick Meaney
Winger for Titans is number 2 Alofiana Khan-PereiraWinger for Storm is number 2 Will Warbrick
Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian KellyCentre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
Centre for Titans is number 4 Aaron SchouppCentre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
Winger for Titans is number 5 Phillip SamiWinger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Storm is number 14 Jonah Pezet
Halfback for Titans is number 7 Tanah BoydHalfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
Prop for Titans is number 8 Moeaki FotuaikaProp for Storm is number 8 Tui Kamikamica
Hooker for Titans is number 9 Chris RandallHooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
Prop for Titans is number 10 Tino Fa'asuamaleauiProp for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
2nd Row for Titans is number 11 David Fifita2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Trent Loiero
2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Joe Stimson2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
Lock for Titans is number 13 Isaac LiuLock for Storm is number 13 Josh King
Interchange for Titans is number 14 Jayden CampbellInterchange for Storm is number 6 Tyran Wishart
Interchange for Titans is number 15 Erin ClarkInterchange for Storm is number 15 Alec MacDonald
Interchange for Titans is number 16 Joe VunaInterchange for Storm is number 16 Tariq Sims
Interchange for Titans is number 17 Iszac Fa'asuamaleauiInterchange for Storm is number 21 Bronson Garlick
Replacement for Titans is number 18 Sam McIntyreReplacement for Storm is number 17 Jordan Grant
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
- Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen