Falls to make NRL debut for Origin-drained Panthers

Kurt Falls will make his NRL debut. Photo: NRL Images.
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Penrith coach Ivan Cleary has named Kurt Falls to make his NRL debut in the halves for Friday night’s clash with Canterbury.

He’ll be alongside Sean O’Sullivan in a new-look Panthers halves partnership for the game against the last placed Bulldogs.

While a first versus last encounter would usually be guaranteed to be a one-sided affair, much interest surrounds Friday’s clash at BlueBet Stadium given six Penrith players are on Origin duty.

Stephen Crichton, Brian To’o, Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo are all unavailable for selection. Api Koroisau will be released from Blues camp in time to play on Friday night.

It is the most inexperienced side Penrith has fielded this season.

Charlie Staines earns a recall to first grade on the wing, while Robert Jennings comes into the centres for Crichton.

Chris Smith starts in the second row with Matt Eisenhuth at lock.

Panthers: Dylan Edwards, Taylan May, Izack Tago, Robert Jennings, Charlie Staines, Kurt Falls, Sean O’Sullivan, Moses Leota, Api Koroisau, James Fisher-Harris, Viliame Kikau, Chris Smith, Matt Eisenhuth. Bench: Mitch Kenny, Scott Sorensen, Spencer Leniu, Jaeman Salmon.

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