Boyd Cordner has been cleared of concussion and the Sydney Roosters co-captain has been named to play against Cronulla as two of the NRL club’s biggest stars have been rested.
James Tedesco and Sio Siua Taukeiaho haven’t been picked two weeks out from the finals with the club hoping to time a premiership run to perfection.
On Monday, Cordner was cleared to return to full training after he was taken from the field for a HIA after copping a head knock in Saturday’s win over Newcastle.
Already this season Cordner has missed six weeks as he endured ongoing concussion symptoms, with the Roosters renowned for taking extreme precautions with players.
Cordner’s inclusion for Saturday night’s game will be a boost for the 28-year-old after a horror week in which he lost his cousin, Joel Dark.
“Obviously you’re worried about him,” said co-captain Jake Friend, who was on the scene as Cordner’s head hit the turf on Saturday.
“There’s a fair bit of history there and the week that it was there was plenty of emotions for Boyd.
“It was great to see him get out and play and it was a big week for him. It was good to see him (on Monday) be clear-eyed.
“It was good for him to have a couple of days off and get his head right.”
The game will mark a special milestone for Mitch Aubusson, who will become the club’s most capped player with his 303rd appearance.
He has been named in the centres with Joseph Manu moving to fullback to replace Tedesco.
Elsewhere, Manly have named star fullback Tom Trbojevic on an extended bench as he aims to return for the first time since round six.
Should he line up for the Sea Eagles against the Gold Coast, he will have just two games under his belt before being selected in the NSW Blues Origin training squad at the end of next week.
The Panthers have also opted to rest players for the first time this season with James Tamou, Api Koroisau and Zane Tetevano all given a week off.
A win against North Queensland on Friday will assure them the minor premiership.
Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga has been named to return against St George Illawarra after a week off as the club pushes for a home final.