Panthers Coach Anthony Griffin this morning spoke with the media ahead of their clash with the Bulldogs and suggested there could be a change to his side that was named on Tuesday.
The Panthers have a number of star players on their injury list, including representative centre Dean Whare, fullback Matt Moylan and hooker James Segeyaro.
Segeyaro will be sidelined for six to eight weeks with an arm injury, while Moylan will spend another week on the sideline, Griffin did suggest that Kiwi International, Whare, who picked up a mild calf strain in their final trial game against the Bulldogs is every chance of returning for the Panthers against the Bulldogs.
“Dean’s a chance,” said Griffin. “He’s only just started running.
“He ran well with rehab on Monday and he had another run this morning. We’ve just got to be careful with calf injuries, but he’s getting close.”
The return of Whare to the Panthers side will bolster their right side, who have the tough job of trying to contain the Bulldogs left hand side attack of Curtis Rona, Josh Morris, Tony Williams and Moses Mbye.
Whare’s return would more than likely see Waqa Blake replaced in the starting side.
Tyrone Peachey has been named at hooker in place of James Segeyaro whilst Elijah Taylor rejoins the Panthers side, where he will come off the bench after spending round one in the NSW Cup and Sitaleki Akauola has been named as the 18th man.
1 Will Smith
2 Josh Mansour
3 Waqa Blake
4 Peta Hiku
5 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
6 Jamie Soward
7 Peter Wallace
8 Sam McKendry
9 Tyrone Peachey
10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
11 Bryce Cartwright
12 Isaah Yeo
13 Trent Merrin
14 James Fisher-Harris
15 Jeremy Latimore
16 Suaia Matagi
17 Elijah Taylor
20 Sitaleki Akauola
The match kicks off at Pepper Stadium at 8.05pm, with gates set to open at 5.30pm and NYC scheduled for a 5.50pm start time.