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Wests Tigers will head interstate for just the second time this year as they take on the Melbourne Storm in the penultimate round of the regular season at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Queensland.

With a heartbreaking 26-24 defeat to the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend, Michael Maguire's side will be looking to end the season on a positive note despite their absence from the 2020 finals campaign, and will certainly be determined to send departing legends Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence out on a high.

Both Marshall and Lawrence have been named in the run-on side as they were last weekend — the latter replacing co-captain Moses Mbye in the centres, who has once again not been named as he battles a troublesome knee injury.

Marshall will form a new-look halves combination with Josh Reynolds, after regular halfback Luke Brooks attracted a one-game suspension for his part in last week's melee against the Rabbitohs. Reynolds has not started since Round 9 and has not partnered in the halves with Marshall since Round 2 — one of many combinations used throughout the 2020 season by Coach Maguire.

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There's no shortage of team news for either side with the visitors also set to welcome back Zane Musgrove (foot) and Joey Leilua (ankle) from injury.

Musgrove's long-awaited return sees the Samoan international take the place Alex Twal — who was ruled out late with an illness on game day — while the experienced Leilua returns at centre in place of Tommy Talau.

NRL.com preview Storm clash


Melbourne were set to welcome back experienced prop Christian Welch before the big man was ruled out with suspension off the back of a COVID-19 breach.

Tino Fa'asuamaleaui is Welch's replacement at prop, while Brandon Smith and Paul Momirovski both return from injury to take their place on the bench.

Since making the move to Sunshine Coast Stadium in Round 10, the Storm have certainly made it a home away from home with five wins from five games — scoring an average of 35 points per game in the process. Wests Tigers did face off against the Storm in a trial match at the venue back in 2016, however, with David Nofoaluma crossing late on to give the visitors an 18-16 victory.

Despite being at opposite ends of the competition ladder heading in to Round 19, Saturday's game is also shaping up as a close encounter between the two sides, with the last six games between the two being decided by single digits. 

MATCH DETAILS

Date — Saturday, September 19, 2020

Time — 5:30pm AEST

Venue — Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast

TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION

TV — Live via FOX League (Ch.502)

Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB

Live Stream — Foxtel Go, KAYO, NRL Digital Pass and Watch NRL (int.)

LATEST TEAM NEWS

Melbourne Storm — Christian Welch was set to return at prop before a COVID-19 breach saw him stood down by the club. His omission sees Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui move in to the starting side, while Paul Momirovski joins the bench in his first game back from a hand injury. Brandon Smith could also be a late inclusion after being named in jersey 18.

Wests Tigers — Alex Twal (illness) is a late out, with Zane Musgrove, Russell Packer, Jacob Liddle and Luke Garner forming a new-look bench. Sam McIntyre starts in the back row, while Joey Leilua returns from injury in place of Tommy Talau.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nicho Hynes
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Adam Doueihi
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Brenko Lee
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Joseph Leilua
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Chris Lawrence
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Asu Kepaoa
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Josh Reynolds
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Benji Marshall

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Josh Aloiai
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Cameron Smith
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Harry Grant
  • Prop for Storm is number 15 Tino Faasuamaleaui
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Thomas Mikaele
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Sam McIntyre
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 15 Matthew Eisenhuth

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Tom Eisenhuth
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Zane Musgrove
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tui Kamikamica
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Russell Packer
  • Interchange for Storm is number 18 Brandon Smith
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Luke Garner
  • Interchange for Storm is number 20 Max King
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 21 Jacob Liddle

LATEST NEDS ODDS

H2H — Melbourne Storm ($1.11), Wests Tigers ($7.50)

Line — Melbourne Storm (-15.5) $2.00, Wests Tigers (+15.5) $2.00

Odds correct as of 4:00pm, September 19. 18+ only. Gamble responsibly.

HISTORY

Head-to-Head — Played 33, Melbourne Storm 20, Wests Tigers 12, Draw 1

At Sunshine Coast Stadium — Yet to play at Sunshine Coast Stadium

Last Time They Met — Melbourne 24 def. Wests Tigers 22 (Rd.10, 2019)

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee — Gerard Sutton

Touch Judges — Todd Smith and Peter Gough

Bunker Review Official — Ashley Klein