NRL late mail round 22: South Sydney trio locked in, Roosters skipper firms

NRL ROUND 22 TEAMS — Brisbane’s Origin flyer Corey Oates has been officially cleared to return from the staph infection that had placed his 2017 season in doubt.

Oates got through Friday’s captain’s run and will take his place on the wing against the Gold Coast on Saturday, playing his first game in six weeks after fears he may have required surgery on his infected hips.

The blockbusting winger will replace former Titan David Mead in the Broncos 17 for the local derby.

Meanwhile St George Illawarra has been dealt a major blow with wrecking ball Russell Packer floored by a knee injury on the eve of their clash with South Sydney.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor revealed Packer injured his knee against Newcastle last week, suffering a low grade strain of ligaments.

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