Hardman Fensom named after elbow dislocation
Shaun Fensom is widely regarded as one of the toughest players in rugby league, but overcoming a dislocated elbow in nine days seemed an almost impossible task – even for him.
But the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys hardman is once again a chance to defy belief and overcome a gruesome injury far sooner than anyone expected after being named on the bench by head coach Paul Green for Saturday night's showdown with the Rabbitohs.
Green conceded Fensom was no certainty to line-up for the Round 11 clash at 1300SMILES Stadium, but the Cowboys coach knows never to write him off either.
"Fenno obviously dislocated his elbow, which can be anything from zero to four weeks, but we are talking about Shaun Fensom so he may be right this week," Green said.
"He's pretty tough, we've all seen how tough he is and he's definitely team first, but at the end of the day he has to be able to do his job too which is the most important thing. We want to give him every chance and see how he goes."
Fensom was just one of a number of Cowboys to suffer injuries against the Wests Tigers. Centre Ben Hampton and lock Jason Taumalolo sustained ankle complaints, while co-captain Matt Scott tweaked a shoulder.
Green was confident Scott would suit up against the Rabbitohs, while the other three would be assessed throughout the week.
"Matt Scott will be right. Jase has tweaked his ankle and Benny Hampton and Fenno were both modified at training as well, so we're just going to have to see how we go," Green said.
Green has a number of options if any of those four fail to prove their fitness by Saturday.
Prop Francis Molo has been in tremendous form for the Townsville Blackhawks in the Queensland Cup as has Northern Pride centre Enari Tuala who joins the extended bench on the back of a three-try performance in Round 10.
"Enari certainly put his hand up with the game he played on the weekend and that's what you want from your young guys," the Cowboys head coach said.
"We've got a fair few injuries through the club at the moment to some of our bigger guys, but also to some of the guys who would be putting pressure on. It's good to have Enari in the form he is because you need those young guys snapping at their heels.
"One thing about Enari is that whatever level he plays at, he rises to the occasion, he doesn't get overawed and he'll need that if he gets his start."