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Eels hand Brown recall for NRL grand final

Nathan Brown has been handed a recall on Parramatta's interchange bench for the NRL grand final. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Parramatta have handed unwanted forward Nathan Brown a shock recall for Sunday's NRL grand final against Penrith.

Brown, who hasn't played for the Eels since July, was told earlier this year that he was free to find a new NRL club for 2023.

But on Tuesday coach Brad Arthur ended Brown's exile, handing him a spot on the Eels' interchange bench at the expense of Bryce Cartwright.

Parramatta have named centre Tom Opacic in their extended squad after he missed last week's preliminary final win over North Queensland with a hamstring issue.

Bailey Simonsson will hold the centre spot if Opacic fails to pass a late fitness test while Cartwright has been named as Parramatta's 18th man for the Accor Stadium clash.

Penrith have left winger Taylan May out of their squad after he failed to recover in time from a hamstring injury.

Charlie Staines, who has played 14 games for the Panthers this season, retained his wing spot in Ivan Cleary's side after missing out on playing in last year's grand final.

Penrith winger Taylan May will miss the NRL grand final against Parramatta with a hamstring injury. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

"Playing NSW Cup has helped me and when I get that chance in first grade I want to bring that (form) into first grade," Staines told AAP.

"I've been getting a good few games under my belt.

"I feel like I've been going OK whenever I've stepped up this year."

Penrith have named interchange prop Spencer Leniu and are confident the forward will play after he was sent for two head injury assessments in the preliminary final win over Souths.

The Panthers squad features 13 players who won last year's grand final.


Penrith: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To'o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Api Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo. Bench: 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon. 18th man: 18. Sean O'Sullivan. Reserves: 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. J'maine Hopgood 21. Sunia Turuva 22. Chris Smith

Parramatta: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Waqa Blake 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali'i 13. Ryan Matterson. Bench: 14. Nathan Brown 15. Jakob Arthur 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Marata Niukore. 18th man: 18. Bryce Cartwright. Reserves: 19. Makahesi Makatoa 20. Tom Opacic 21. Ofahiki Ogden 22. Ky Rodwell.

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