Moylan not named by Penrith for NRL semi

 

Time is running out for Penrith skipper Matt Moylan to make his NRL return in Friday night's knockout semi-final against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

The Panthers playmaker was on Tuesday not named for the sudden death clash after being granted personal leave by the club last week and undergoing counselling.

Penrith can still apply for an exemption from the NRL to allow Moylan to make his comeback against the Broncos if made available in the coming days.

However, it is considered highly unlikely that Moylan will be given a clearance to play this week by counsellors treating the 26-year-old for personal issues.

Under the NRL's team list guidelines introduced this year, only those named in a club's squad of 21 on Tuesday can play as part of the final 17 that round.

Moylan could still play. Image: Getty

Players can only be brought into the squad when granted a special exemption by the NRL, usually in the case of any injury to a specialist position player.

"He's a fantastic player. I don't know what kind of dramas are going on down there but with him in the team they are a very different attacking team - we will see what happens," Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday said of a possible Moylan return.

Moylan's fitness is another issue.

His troublesome hamstring that has restricted him to playing just two of Penrith's last six games is considered "touch and go" for this week.

He has not trained with Penrith since being granted leave.

Meanwhile, Brisbane rolled the dice and named injured skipper Darius Boyd as 18th man.

Boyd will be given until the rest of the week to overcome the hamstring complaint that forced him to miss their qualifying final loss to the Sydney Roosters.

Explosive backrower Tevita Pangai Junior was also named in the extended squad after missing one week with a similar hamstring complaint.

Wayne Bennett has stuck with veteran Benji Marshall in the halves with Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima at fullback.

Parramatta have not named fullback Bevan French for Saturday night's semi-final with North Queensland at ANZ Stadium.

The livewire No.1 had been expected to make his return from a three-week hamstring injury.

Eels hooker Cameron King was picked despite suffering an arm injury in last week's opening loss to Melbourne.

He is expected to be monitored this week after scans cleared King of a fracture but revealed nerve damage.

And former Queensland flyer Justin O'Neill is a chance to return from a month-long elbow complaint after being included in the Cowboys' 21-strong squad.

BRISBANE BRONCOS v PENRITH PANTHERS at Suncorp Stadium, Friday 7.55pm

BRONCOS: Kodi Nikorima, Corey Oates, James Roberts, Tautau Moga, Jordan Kahu, Anthony Milford, Benji Marshall, Sam Thaiday, Ben Hunt, Adam Blair (c), Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. Interchange: David Mead, Jai Arrow, Joe Ofahengaue, Herman Ese'ese, Darius Boyd, Jaydn Su'A, Jamayne Isaako, Tevita Pangai Junior.
PANTHERS: Dylan Edwards, Josh Mansour, Tyrone Peachey, Dean Whare, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Tyrone May, Nathan Cleary, James Tamou, Peter Wallace (c), Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Corey Harawira-Naera, Isaah Yeo, Trent Merrin. Interchange: Sione Katoa, Bryce Cartwright, Moses Leota, James Fisher-Harris, Jarome Luai, Viliame Kikau, Sitaleki Akauola, Jed Cartwright.

PARRAMATTA EELS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS at ANZ Stadium, Saturday 7.40pm

EELS: Will Smith, Semi Radradra, Michael Jennings, Brad Takairangi, Kirisome Auva'a, Corey Norman, Mitchell Moses, Daniel Alvaro, Cameron King, Tim Mannah (c), Manu Ma'u, Tepai Moeroa, Nathan Brown. Interchange: Beau Scott, Kenny Edwards, Siosaia Vave, Suaia Matagi, Kaysa Pritchard, Peni Terepo, David Gower, Josh Hoffman.
COWBOYS: Lachlan Coote, Kyle Feldt, Javid Bowen, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Te Maire Martin, Michael Morgan, John Asiata, Jake Granville, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper (c), Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: Ben Hampton, Coen Hess, Corey Jensen, Shaun Fensom, Ray Thompson, Justin O'Neill, Braden Uele, Patrick Mago.

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