Sydney Roosters centre Paul Momirovski is the man tasked with replacing injured talisman Joey Manu in Sunday’s elimination final against South Sydney.
A contender for Dally M Centre of the Year, Manu limped from the field with a calf injury late in Friday’s 26-16 win over the Rabbitohs and is set to spend at least two weeks in the casualty ward.
Oliver Gildart, Adam Keighran and Kevin Naiqama loomed as other replacement options but coach Trent Robinson has given the nod to Momirovski, who won the 2021 premiership with Penrith.
Damien Cook (COVID-19) and Campbell Graham (concussion) have been named to return for the Rabbitohs, while Victor Radley (concussion), Joseph Suaalii (shoulder) and Daniel Tupou (groin) are in for the Roosters.
The Bunnies have also received a boost, with Cameron Murray remaining on track to play after being ruled out of last week’s match with a first-minute head knock.
Elsewhere Melbourne have Jahrome Hughes back for their elimination-final against Canberra, who have no injury concerns after Jack Wighton and Elliott Whitehead were rested for the last round.
Cronulla have named Siosifa Talakai and Will Kennedy to take on North Queensland in Saturday night’s qualifying final, with both racing the close to play.
Talakai was hurt by a hip-drop tackle in Sunday’s win over Newcastle, but the Sharks are confident there is no serious damage.
Kennedy has not played since his ankle was hurt by a similar tackle in round 20, with the fullback on track to play but no certainty.
Dale Finucane and Toby Rudolf are also confirmed returnees for the Sharks, while North Queensland have Coen Hess back from suspension.
In the weekend’s other game, both Penrith and Parramatta have no lingering issues with Nathan Cleary to make his return from a five-week ban.
It means of the 17 players lining up for Penrith in the qualifying final, 15 had last week off.