Veteran forward Ben Spina will line up for his eighth NRL game tonight when the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the New Zealand Warriors in Round 24 action at 1300SMILES Stadium.
The 28-year-old Ingham product made his NRL/Cowboys debut in 2014, played five games in season 2015 and lined up for the side in Round 18 this season, against the Raiders.
He returns to the NRL fold to take on the team against which he scored his only NRL try, as the Cowboys look to snap a three-game losing streak.
Spina will start off the interchange bench and replaces co-captain Matt Scott, who was a late withdrawal at week’s end due to a back injury, sustained two weeks ago against the Tigers and aggravated again last week against the Roosters.
Scott Bolton moves from the interchange bench into the starting side where he will partner New South Wales and Australian representative James Tamou.
In other team changes, Rory Kostjasyn will again start, with Ray Thompson moved to the bench, as was the case in Round 23 against the Roosters.
Young tyros Patrick Kaufusi and Coen Hess round out the four-man bench.
Tonight’s game kicks off at 7.30pm.
Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 16 Scott Bolton, 14 Rory Kostjasyn, 10 James Tamou, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 9 Ray Thompson, 15 Coen Hess, 17 Patrick Kaufusi, 20 Ben Spina. Coach: Paul Green.