Photo: Robb Cox ©nrlphotos.com

Origin forces changes for Cowboys

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys coach Paul Green has made several State of Origin-enforced changes to the team heading into their round 17 NRL clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium.

Origin quartet Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Michael Morgan (Queensland), plus New South Wales’s James Tamou will all miss the game, with Green naming Ray Thompson and Robert Lui in the halves.

Thompson returns from several weeks out with a broken cheekbone, while Lui returns to the NRL after a cameo appearance for the Cowboys in their round 15 win over Canberra.

Sam Hoare and Ben Hannant have been named as starting props, while Rory Kostjasyn moves back to the bench after his stint at five-eighth in the round 16 game against the Sharks.

Scott Bolton will come off the bench after an impressive return from long-term injury for the Northern Pride in the Intrust Super Cup last weekend.

Patrick Kaufusi retains his spot in the 17 after making his NRL debut against the Sharks while Glenn Hall and Ben Spina have been named on an extended bench.

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v St George Illawarra Dragons
Round 17, 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership
7.30pm, Saturday 4 July, WIN Stadium
Tickets: ticketek.com.au
Times:
3pm: Gates open
3.10pm: NYC Cowboys v Dragons
7.30pm: NRL Cowboys v Dragons

1 Lachlan Coote
2 Matthew Wright
3 Justin O’Neill
4 Kane Linnett
5 Antonio Winterstein
6 Ray Thompson
7 Robert Lui
8 Ben Hannant
9 Jake Granville
10 Sam Hoare
11 Gavin Cooper (c)
12 Ethan Lowe
13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange:
14 Rory Kostjasyn
15 John Asiata
16 Scott Bolton
17 Patrick Kaufusi
18 Glenn Hall
20 Ben Spina

Coach: Paul Green