Billy Slater Has Just Received His Best News In 374 Days

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Billy Slater Has Just Received His Best News In 374 Days

Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne veteran Billy Slater is set to finally make his NRL return after two shoulder reconstructions, having been named to take on Brisbane on Thursday.

Slater was one of two big inclusions for a Storm side that moved Cameron Munster to five-eighth, with prop Jesse Bromwich added to an extended bench.

"I'm excited. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous a little bit. I feel like it's my debut all over again," Slater told the club's website on Tuesday.

"But I'm really excited about getting out there, putting the jersey on and playing a bit of footy. I've really missed the competitiveness of the game. That's what I'm looking forward to most.

"About a few weeks ago, when we decided that I wasn't going to be ready for the start of the season, we earmarked round three. We always had this in mind."

Canberra were the other team to receive a major boost for their round three-clash against Wests Tigers, with captain Jarrod Croker (knee) back and Dave Taylor in jumper No.17.

The Tigers have left out Jamal Idris and added Tim Grant (flu) to the bench.

Photo: Getty Images

Parramatta's chances of keeping their spot atop the table copped a blow after star Corey Norman was ruled out for a week with a hamstring issue.

Veteran Jeff Robson will start in the halves against a Gold Coast side that have handed Tyler Cornish the No.1 jumper vacated by Jarryd Hayne (ankle).

Canterbury have also been forced to utilise their depth after injuries to Will Hopoate (eye socket) and Kerrod Holland (shoulder), naming Brad Abbey and Marcelo Montoya.

The Bulldogs travel to Dunedin, New Zealand to take on a Warriors outfit that have dropped Tuimoala Lolohea in favour of warhorse Manu Vatuvei.

Photo: Getty Images

Elsewhere, Sydney Roosters youngster Joseph Manu will deputise for Blake Ferguson (rib), while Kalyn Ponga comes in for Lachlan Coote (calf) for North Queensland.

The Cowboys too had to reach deep into their roster after injuries to Matt Scott (ACL) and Antonio Winterstein (wrist), with Javid Bowen and Patrick Kaufusi in the starting 17.

Cronulla named the same 17 with Valentine Holmes on the extended bench and Jack Bird retained at fullback.

Newcastle, South Sydney, Brisbane, Penrith and Manly are all unchanged from last week.

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