Roosters recruit Brandon Smith to face Storm in trial

Brandon Smith will take on his former teammates after the ex-Melbourne hooker was named in the Sydney Roosters side for their Pre-season Challenge trial.

BRANDON SMITH. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Brandon Smith and Melbourne are on an early collision course with the ex-Storm hooker named in the Sydney Roosters side for their NRL Pre-season Challenge match in Geelong on Sunday.

While the Melburnians are resting first-choice rake Harry Grant, the Roosters have rushed their star recruit into the line-up with all 17 teams vying for $100,000 prize-money in the competition.

Prop Christian Welch, who did his Achilles in round one last year, as well as centre Reimis Smith, whose season ended in July, will both make their return.

Among the mix of experienced Storm players and newcomers are several NRL offsprings including backrower Joe Chan, son of former Storm forward Alex Chan, and hooker Cole Geyer, son of Melbourne legend Matt Geyer.

Bronson Garlick, son of ex-South Sydney star Sean Garlick, is starting at hooker.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has included a number of big names with Luke Keary, Sam Walker, Joseph Suaali'i, Victor Radley and former Bronco Jake Turpin all in the squad.

The Warriors and Wests Tigers are first on deck on Thursday night in Auckland with the home side unveiling recruits Te Maire Martin and Luke Metcalf in the halves.

The Tigers have held back most of their stars until week two, although fullback Charlie Staines will start at fullback.

While North Queensland won't rush their big names into action, Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett will test some of his NRL starters in Cairns on Sunday night.

Five-eighth Anthony Milford will partner youngster Isaiya Katoa. Former Gold Coast player Jamayne Isaako is at fullback while ex-Parramatta lock Ray Stone makes his return after a knee injury last March.

Adam O'Brien has named recruits Tyson Gamble and Jackson Hastings in the halves for Newcastle's clash with Cronulla on Friday night in Gosford while new signing Lachie Miller won't face his old club.

Max Riolo, son of former NRL fullback David Riolo, has been included amongst an experienced Sharks squad.

Neither of the Trbojevic brothers Tom and Jake or Daly Cherry-Evans will front for Manly in the later Gosford game against Souths, with ex-Storm playmaker Cooper Johns getting an outing.

Grand finalists Penrith and Parramatta will meet on Saturday night at BlueBet Stadium with second-rower Jaeman Salmon the only Panther to back up from their 2022 triumph.

Former Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson has been named in the Eels line-up, making his return from a knee reconstruction.

New coach Cameron Ciraldo has included Canterbury Bulldogs recruits Reed Mahoney, Ryan Sutton and Fa'amanu Brown for their clash with Canberra in Moruya, while the Raiders will be led by Jarrod Croker in his return from a shoulder injury.

St George Illawarra will host UK giants St Helens on Saturday night at WIN Stadium.

The Super League champions, warming up for their World Club Challenge against Penrith, have included five England World Cup stars with Tommy Makinson, Jack Welsby and Joe Batchelor among them.