Good test ahead for positions - Henry
Wednesday 13 February 2013 1:36 PM
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys coach Neil Henry expects to heavily rotate his players on and off the field in Saturday night’s NRL pre-season trial against St George Illawarra at Barlow Park.
A 22-man squad will head to Cairns on Thursday and all of them can expect to gain reasonable game time in the Cowboys’ second hit-out for 2013.
Included in the lineup are nine players who didn’t play for the club in Mount Isa last weekend, including co-captains Matthew Scott and Johnathan Thurston, Test and Origin forward James Tamou and Junior Kiwis representative Jason Taumalolo.
“We’ve come through injury-free from the Mount Isa trial so a number of those players will be backing up,” Henry said.
“It will give us a good chance to look at combinations in the halves against a quality side.
“There’s a lot of questions about who’s going to start the season in what position because we have got good depth in the club.
“It should be a good trial.”
Johnathan Thurston has been named in the number six for the Cowboys but is still considered to be in some doubt after damaging his hand making a tackle in Saturday night’s All Stars game.
Although he has been cleared of major injury, the five-eighth still has his hand and wrist strapped.
“We’ll leave it up to him,” Henry said of his co-captain’s availability this weekend.
“He likes to play his football but he did have a good hit-out in the All Stars game plus his wrist is a bit sore.
“He’s got the all clear and indications are he could play the game but we’ll wait and see later in the week.”
Henry said Ray Thompson, who has been named on the bench in his return from a shoulder reconstruction, would get some time in the halves.
Hookers Anthony Mitchell and Alex Elisala will make their comebacks from shoulder surgery for the Mackay Cutters in Rockhampton.