Outstanding form in the Cairns A-grade competition has earned Jared Verney a call-up to the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys’ NYC squad for the first time for the round 23 match-up with Penrith on Monday.
The 20-year-old fullback, who has been a try-scoring machine for the ladder-leading Tully Tigers, first started training with the Cowboys six weeks ago.
He’s been making the 420km trip round trip to Townsville once a week and has now won a place on the interchange bench in a team chasing four consecutive victories in the under-20s competition.
In his most recent appearance at the weekend, Verney scored four tries in Tully’s 52-0 win over Ivanhoes at Tully Showgrounds.
The NYC Cowboys have lost front-rower Viliame Kikau to a one-week suspension (grade one dangerous throw) and winger Samsen O’Neill, who suffered a broken finger in Saturday night’s win against Wests Tigers that kept NQ’s slim finals hopes alive.
Delayne Ashby has been omitted.
Akeripa Tia Kilifi returns to the backline after missing the Wests game with a groin strain, while David Munro has been promoted to the starting forward pack.
Jack Brock has been recalled to join Verney, Andrew Niemoeller and Ben Mathiou on the interchange bench.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Penrith Panthers NYC
4.45pm, Monday 18 August, Sportingbet Stadium
1 Yamba Bowie
2 Scott Schulte
3 Lenny Magey
4 Akeripa Tia Kilifi
5 Conor Carey
6 Ty Carucci
7 Cooper Bambling
8 Jack Kelleher (c)
9 Josh Chudleigh
10 Patrick Kaufusi
11 Coen Hess
12 Corey Jensen
13 David Munro
14 Jared Verney
15 Andrew Niemoeller
16 Jack Brock
17 Ben Mathiou
Coach: Todd Wilson.