Curtis Rona will make his NRL debut for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys against Manly at Central Coast Stadium on Good Friday after today being called up as the replacement for injured winger Antonio Winterstein.
A member of the Cowboys’ victorious Auckland Nines squad in February, Rona will line up on the left wing alongside centre Kane Linnett with Winterstein out for at least a month with a hamstring injury.
Born in New Zealand, Rona played his junior football with Joondalup Giants in Perth before moving across the country to become part of the Sydney Roosters’ NYC squad.
He joined the Cowboys out of the under-20s competition last season and was selected in the Queensland Residents squad as well as playing for Intrust Super Cup premiers Mackay.
The 21-year-old will become Cowboy No.243.
In the only other alteration to coach Paul Green’s squad, Glenn Hall has been included on a five-man interchange bench that will be reduced to four later in the week.
This will be the Cowboys’ first trip to Gosford since a round one win against Canterbury in 2013.
They will come up against a Manly squad in a buoyant mood after beating Cronulla 24-4 at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Manly Sea Eagles
Round 7, 2014 Telstra Premiership
7.35pm, Friday 18 April, Central Coast Stadium
1 Michael Morgan
2 Matthew Wright
3 Brent Tate
4 Kane Linnett
5 Curtis Rona
6 Johnathan Thurston (c)
7 Robert Lui
8 Matt Scott (c)
9 Rory Kostjasyn
10 James Tamou
11 Gavin Cooper
12 Jason Taumalolo
13 Tariq Sims
14 Ray Thompson
15 Joel Riethmuller
16 Ashton Sims
17 Scott Bolton
18 Glenn Hall
Coach: Paul Green