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Former Queensland Junior Origin front-rower Patrick Kaufusi will play his first NYC game since round one when the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys take on the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

A member of the Cowboys’ full-time NRL squad, Kaufusi has been sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle that he picked up in the first half against Canberra back in early March.

Cleared by his surgeon last week to make his return, he will start in the front-row, pushing skipper Jack Kelleher to lock and David Munro to the bench.

In the other change to North Queensland’s starting 13 following last Friday night’s two-point loss to Cronulla, Ty Carucci returns at five-eighth for Delayne Ashby who takes over Dan Clarke’s back-up hooker duties.

Ben Mathiou, who has to yet to make his under-20s debut, has been named on a six-man interchange bench.

The Cowboys’ under-20s come into round 20 in 14th place, two positions ahead of the Bulldogs, eight points out of the top eight.

NYC North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
5.15pm, Saturday 26 July, ANZ Stadium

1 Yamba Bowie
2 Samsen O’Neill
3 Lenny Magey
4 Akeripa Tia Kilifi
5 Conor Carey
6 Ty Carucci
7 Cooper Bambling
8 Viliame Kikau
9 Josh Chudleigh
10 Patrick Kaufusi
11 Coen Hess
12 Corey Jensen
13 Jack Kelleher (c)

14 Delayne Ashby
15 Andrew Niemoeller
16 David Munro
17 Michael Barclay
18 Ben Mathiou
20 Kieran Quabba

Coach: Todd Wilson

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.