New utility role for Lui

Robert Lui is set to take on a new utility role for the Toyota Cowboys against Melbourne on Saturday night with coach Paul Green confirming the halfback will be the back-up hooker and five-eighth in the round 12 NRL clash at 1300SMILES Stadium.

After holding down the second dummy-half duties last week, Anthony Mitchell has returned to Mackay to play with the Cutters in the Intrust Super Cup this weekend.

Two other Cowboys-contracted Cutters – front-rower Sam Hoare and back-rower John Asiata – have stayed in Townsville and took part in this morning’s final training session.

The coach will finalise his 17 tomorrow with all four State of Origin representatives set to back up after playing in Wednesday night’s gruelling series opener against NSW.

“They’ve all pulled up as well as can be expected after a game like that on Wednesday night,” Green said.

“I think we all agree it was a pretty brutal encounter but luckily for us we all got through it pretty well.”

Green said he was hoping to be in a position to give Johnathan Thurston a rest at some stage of Saturday night’s match and then bring Lui on to fill a halves role alongside Ray Thompson.

“Other than that, he’ll play dummy-half,” the coach of Lui’s role off the bench.