A late injury withdrawal to veteran winger Antonio Winterstein will hand teenage flyer Kalyn Ponga his National Rugby League debut on the biggest of stages as the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the Brisbane Broncos in tonight’s elimination final.
Ponga, 18, will start on the wing with Winterstein out with a rib complaint.
Back-rower Ethan Lowe was yesterday ruled out for the rest of the season with a back injury, with Coen Hess to start in his stead.
John Asiata comes on to the Cowboys’ interchange bench.
Tonight’s blockbuster kicks off at 7.55pm at 1300SMILES Stadium.
COWBOYS: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Javid Bowen, 18 Kalyn Ponga, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 8 Matt Scott (c), 9 Jake Granville, 10 James Tamou, 11 Gavin Cooper, 15 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14 Rory Kostjasyn, 16 Scott Bolton, 17 Ben Hannant, 20 John Asiata.