Cowboys hit hard with injuries in lead up to Broncos clash
INJURY to Robert Lui and a concern over the dummy half role has thrown further confusion in to the Cowboys camp on the eve of their local derby clash with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
The Cowboys will field their third different halfback/hooker pairing in as many weeks with Michael Morgan, sacked last week, recalled, and Rory Kostjasyn to play dummy half in just his second start.
Interchange hooker Anthony Mitchell has been dropped after just one appearance, and has not been named on a 20-man squad.
Meanwhile the Broncos have resisted the temptation to recall injured prop Josh McGuire for the Men of League Heritage round clash, deciding to give him the added benefit of a bye next week to recover from his calf injury.
Skipper Sam Thaiday is back from suspension, replacing the injured Dunamis Lui in the 17.
The third Queensland side, the Titans, have dropped a number of selection bombshells including the suspension of Dave Taylor for two weeks for breaching team rules.
The club would not elaborate, but it is believed coach John Cartwright is far from impressed with the attitude of the giant Origin forward.
For their clash with the unchanged Eels at Skilled Park on Sunday night, the Titans have named Albert Kelly at halfback, Beau Henry at five-eighth and included Mark Minichiello and newcomer Anthony Don on the bench.
Kelly (knee injury) is not expected to play and Jordan Rankin is on standby.
The Roosters and Bulldogs have made one change respectively for the blockbuster at Allianz Stadium on Friday night. Back for the Roosters is winger Daniel Tupou, while Greg Eastwood returns for the Bulldogs.
As the Rabbitohs remain unbeaten, for the third successive week captain Michael Crocker has been named in jersey 18 for the top-of-the-ladder clash with the Storm at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night. Lagi Setu returns for the Storm, while the Rabbitohs are unchanged.
After missing last week's loss to the Dragons, Danny Buderus is back on the bench for the Knights for their Saturday night clash with the Panthers, who have again left halfback Luke Walsh out of their team and named Blues' Origin prop Tim Grant on the bench.
The Raiders and Warriors are unchanged for their match in Canberra, also on Saturday night, although Terry Campese has been named on the Raiders bench.
Despite news that he may miss as long as three months because of a toe injury, the Tigers have named Benji Marshall for their SCG clash on Sunday with the Dragons.
Adam Blair has also been selected, but faces a one-week suspension. Jason Nightingale replaces Gerard Beale as Dragons fullback, with Daniel Vidot the new winger.