Origin stars back for Cowboys
State of Origin duo Johnathan Thurston and James Tamou are back for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys for their Friday Night Football clash with Cronulla at Remondis Stadium.
Joining them in a strengthened lineup are hookers Rory Kostjasyn and Ray Thompson, who have come off the club’s injury list following the round 18 bye.
With Thurston returning at halfback for his first NRL game in three weeks, Michael Morgan switches back to the fullback role that he has filled with distinction this season, with Matthew Wright resuming on the wing in place of Curtis Rona.
Tamou takes over from Scott Bolton in the starting front-row, while John Asiata returns on the interchange bench in place of Ethan Lowe (suspended).
Kostjasyn, who was sidelined by a rib cartilage injury, has regained the No.9 jersey and Thompson, who hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring against Newcastle in round 15, will be his dummy-half back-up off the interchange bench.
Anthony Mitchell, as well as rookies Zac Santo and Ben Spina, have been left out of the squad that lost to St George Illawarra two weeks ago.
JT will wear the No.16 jersey as a tribute to Alex McKinnon in the Rise For Alex round.
NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS v CRONULLA SHARKS
Round 19, 2014 Telstra Premiership
7.40pm, Friday 18 July, Remondis Stadium
1 Michael Morgan
2 Matthew Wright
3 Tautau Moga
4 Kane Linnett
5 Antonio Winterstein
6 Robert Lui
16 Johnathan Thurston (c)
8 Ashton Sims
9 Rory Kostjasyn
10 James Tamou
11 Tariq Sims
12 Jason Taumalolo
13 Glenn Hall
14 Ray Thompson
15 Scott Bolton
17 Sam Hoare
18 John Asiata
Coach: Paul Green
NORTHERN PRIDE: Hezron Murgha, Ricky Thorby, Kyle Feldt, Javid Bowen, Ben Spina
MACKAY CUTTERS: Curtis Rona, Zac Santo, Anthony Mitchell
INJURED: Matt Scott, Brent Tate, Gavin Cooper, Joel Riethmuller, Patrick Kaufusi, Lachlan Coote, Cameron King
SUSPENDED: Ethan Lowe