26 Aug 2009

Several NRL stars set to return to fold this weekend

8:18 am on 26 August 2009

The Bulldogs will welcome back representative duo Ben Hannant and Ben Roberts as they ramp up their National Rugby League minor premiership bid against the Warriors on Sunday.

Hannant and Roberts both missed Monday night's win over the Sydney Roosters, but the pair were rushed back in as the Bulldogs look to keep up the pressure on St George Illawarra - with both sides tied atop the NRL ladder on 36 points.

The Bulldogs chances of claiming top spot have been boosted with the Warriors losing test stars Steve Price and Simon Mannering to injury.

Price will undergo eye surgery which will rule him out for the remainder of the NRL season while Mannering could return for the last round game against Melbourne after missing this weekends clash with a knee injury.

Several big names will make their NRL return elsewhere this weekend with Manly regaining the services of star fullback Brett Stewart after 18 weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Test and Origin star Israel Folau will also make his comeback from an ankle injury for Brisbane, with the Broncos also getting prop Joel Clinton back on the bench.

Parramatta and Penrith have stuck with winning combinations for their western Sydney blockbuster on Friday night, while Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens has been forced to name Blake Ashford and Rhys Hanbury on the wings to cover for the loss of Taniela Tuiaki and Beau Ryan.

The Tigers go up against a Gold Coast side boosted by the return of Origin lock Ashley Harrison, with coach John Cartwright also naming under 20's hooker Kayne Lawton and Chris Walker on a seven-man bench.