Eagle-eyed Wests Tigers Members and fans will have noticed a seemingly glaring omission from the array of predicted Round 1 team lists that have begun to emerge ahead of the 2021 season.
NRL.com's predicted side — compiled by former Premiership winner Jamie Soward — had Queensland Origin representative Moses Mbye in the side at five-eighth with Luke Brooks at halfback while Paul Momirovski was listed at fullback.
With no mention of local junior Adam Doueihi, questions started to emerge.
But the answer is relatively straightforward: suspension.
Having played the 2020 campaign at fullback, Doueihi was cited for a Grade 1 Shoulder Charge in a stellar cover tackle deny Parramatta Eels winger Maika Sivo in the side's final match of the regular season.
With no finals campaign or representative selection for the 22-year-old, Doueihi will instead miss the opening round of the 2021 season and will next be eligible for selection in the club's Round 2 clash against the Sydney Roosters.
Pre-season trial appearances do not count towards a player's suspension.
Tamou open to Wests Tigers captaincy
How Coach Michael Maguire looks to replace the Lebanon international in the side will be intriguing given utility Billy Walters is still recovering from his knee injury — leaving Mbye (as a former five-eighth himself) as the likely man to move in to the halves alongside Brooks for the season opener against Canberra.
With Mbye training at fullback for much of the pre-season, however, that potential move opens up a number of fullback options for Wests Tigers.
David Nofoaluma, AJ Kepaoa and Paul Momirovski are all capable of filling in at the back while Tommy Talau and Jock Madden do have experience playing in the halves, which could see one of them cover in Doueihi's absence.
One thing's for certain: if they weren't already, all eyes will firmly be on that Round 1 team list to see how Wests Tigers will line up to start the 2021 campaign!
Match: Raiders v Wests Tigers
Round 1 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
- Nine Network