Knights axe Hastings for Cogger, as Broncos name Haas

Alex Mitchell |

Off-season recruit Jack Cogger will have his first start for the Knights since joining from Penrith.
Off-season recruit Jack Cogger will have his first start for the Knights since joining from Penrith.

Jackson Hastings has paid the price for Newcastle’s 0-2 start to the NRL campaign, with Knights boss Adam O’Brien axing his halfback for their clash with Melbourne.

Instead of the 28-year-old, O’Brien has picked off-season recruit Jack Cogger to pair with five-eighth Tyson Gamble in what will be his first start for the side since joining from Penrith.

It’s not the only change for the Knights, with Greg Marzhew (wrist) set to miss up to a month, although Enari Tuala returns from injury to take his place.

Captain Jayden Brailey has been named on the bench for his first game since round six last season when he tore his ACL.

Newcastle face a Storm outfit that has also had to shuffle its halves, with Tyran Wishart to start with Jonah Pezet.

Star five-eighth Cameron Munster hasn’t been cleared to return from a groin injury, meaning the side will miss both him and halfback Jahrome Hughes, who received a one-game ban for making contact with a referee against the Warriors.

It will be the first time since round 11 of 2021 the Storm have had neither Hughes nor Munster in their line-up.

Elsewhere, Brisbane have named star forward Payne Haas for their grand final rematch with Penrith on Thursday night.

The hulking prop is still dealing with a knee injury, but will play in the mammoth match-up if he gets through the captain’s run on Wednesday.

If he can’t prove his fitness, emerging forward Xavier Willison will take his spot.

The Panthers have picked Lindsay Smith in place of injured prop James Fisher-Harris (shoulder).

Gold Coast get veteran five-eighth Keiran Foran back for their clash with Canterbury, after he missed their season opener against St George Illawarra.

The Bulldogs remain without flyer Josh Addo-Carr (shoulder), with Liam Knight named at prop in place of Poasa Faamausili (head knock).

Sandon Smith replaces Luke Keary (head knock) for the Roosters’ derby contest against South Sydney.

Second-rower Angus Crichton has been recalled, with young edge Siua Wong culled to the reserves.

The Rabbitohs will start Dean Hawkins in the halves with Cody Walker, after coach Jason Demetriou dumped Lachlan Ilias.

Jack Wighton
Former Canberra man Jack Wighton will make his club debut at left centre for the Rabbitohs. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Former Canberra man Jack Wighton will make his club debut at left centre, while Jacob Host returns on an edge.

Benji Marshall has elevated halfback Aidan Sezer to the starting side for the Wests Tigers’ game with Cronulla as he seeks a response from their 20-point thumping against Canberra.

Jayden Sullivan is shifted to a bench, while former Storm man Justin Olam is in the centres for his club debut.

Suspended Shark Briton Nikora has been replaced in the second row by Jack Williams, with Billy Burns added to the bench.

Manly have turned to Raymond Tuiamalo Vaega to solve their wingers crisis, with Tommy Talau (ankle) and Jason Saab (hamstring) injured in their opening fortnight.

Their opponents, Parramatta, have also had to shuffle their outside backs, with Bailey Simonsson missing after a head knock.

Boom youngster Blaize Talagi comes into the centres for his NRL debut, with Morgan Harper pushed to a wing.

And Canberra captain Elliott Whitehead will start in the team’s trip to New Zealand, relegating in-form back-rower Zac Hosking to the bench.

Winger Nick Cotric has been recalled for Sebastian Kris (head knock).

AAP