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Bulli brothers Michael and David Howell are set to play NRL together for the Dragons for the first time in St George Illawarra's clash with Penrith at WIN Stadium this weekend.
David, 19, has been named on the wing to replace Mark Gasnier, who has been ruled out for 3-4 weeks with a torn left quadriceps muscle, while second row/lock Michael, 21 next Monday, has been named on a bench of six (two to be omitted).
The Thirroul juniors have played three first grade games each this season (never in the same round) - both scoring a try, but this Sunday's match could be their first time playing NRL together. They have also played one Premier League game together this year, and prior to that, last played on the same team at school.
“It would be great to play together in first grade,” Michael said. “It's something we've talked about.”
The other changes to the line-up which suffered a disappointing 36-10 loss to the Eels on Saturday include the return of Origin campaigner Shaun Timmins (five-eighth) and captain Lance Thompson (second row).
The Dragons, currently in eighth place, lost to the Panthers 30-26 at Penrith Stadium in round nine.
TEAM LIST - Sunday, August 3 - WIN Stadium 3pm NRL: DRAGONS V PANTHERS 1pm Premier League: Dragons v Penrith Cougars Gates open: 12.30pm
NRL (Rd 21) Coach: Nathan Brown
1 Ben HORNBY 2. Nathan BLACKLOCK 3. David HOWELL 4. Matt COOPER 5. John WILSHERE 6. Shaun TIMMINS 7. Brett FIRMAN 8. Chris LEIKVOLL 9. Mark RIDDELL 10. Ian DONNELLY 11. Luke BAILEY 12. Lance THOMPSON (c) 13. Henry PERENARA Interchange 14. Ashton SIMS 15. Brent KITE 16. John CROSS 17. Michael HOWELL 18. Dean YOUNG 19. Craig STAPLETON *Two to be omitted
Premier League (Rd 17) Coach: Michael Potter
1. Lee BENNETT 2. Hassan SALEH 3. Chris NERO 4. Ben CREAGH 5 Shane LALOATA 6. Mathew HEAD (c) 7. Dean BYRNE 8. Justin POORE 9. Damien BOWER 10. Steven SOUTHERN 11. Nathan TUTT 12. Gary McBRIDE 13. Ryan POWELL
14. Jason ELLEM 15. Robbie SIMPSON 16. Brendan WALL 17. Josh ESSEX 18. Bryan NORRIE