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North Queensland Toyota Cowboys coach Paul Green has made several changes to the team heading into their round 16 NRL clash with the Cronulla Sharks at 1300SMILES Stadium this Saturday.

Johnathan Thurston has been ruled out for the match as he recovers from a torrid State of Origin Game II and from the bruising round 15 win over the Canberra Raiders.

Michael Morgan – himself returning from one match out with a shoulder injury – will take the reins at halfback while Rory Kostjasyn has been named at five-eighth.

Young forward Patrick Kaufusi is poised to make his National Rugby League debut off the bench, while Robert Lui has been named at 18th man.

Sam Hoare drops out of the 17-man team and will play for the Mackay Cutters in the Intrust Super Cup this weekend.

Round 16, 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership
5.30pm, Saturday 27 June, 1300SMILES Stadium

12.45pm: Gates open
1pm: NYC Cowboys v Sharks
2.45pm: Women’s Interstate Challenge, Queensland v New South Wales
4.30pm: Laurie Spina Shield final
5.30pm: NRL Cowboys v Sharks

1 Lachlan Coote
2 Matthew Wright
3 Justin O’Neill
4 Kane Linnett
5 Antonio Winterstein
6 Rory Kostjasyn
7 Michael Morgan
8 Matt Scott (c)
9 Jake Granville
10 James Tamou
11 Gavin Cooper
12 Ethan Lowe
13 Jason Taumalolo

14 Cameron King
15 John Asiata
16 Ben Hannant
17 Patrick Kaufusi
18 Robert Lui

Coach: Paul Green

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.