New Cowboys halves combo continues

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys youngster Jake Clifford has retained his place in the halves alongside Johnathan Thurston for Friday night's showdown with the Newcastle Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium.

The 20-year-old was impressive during his NRL debut against St George last weekend after being a late inclusion in Paul Green's side.

Clifford's promotion to the starting side saw a move to fullback for regular five-eighth Te Maire Martin, judged man of the match by Cowboys coaching staff.

Martin had never played fullback at any level of rugby league before last weekend, but Green has indicated the 22-year-old will be given the opportunity to make the No.1 jersey his own over the final weeks of the season.

Fellow youngster Mitchell Dunn was also a late call-up last weekend and has again been named on the interchange for the Newcastle clash, alongside utility Ben Hampton and forwards Shaun Fensom and Corey Jensen.

In a huge boost for the Cowboys, representative props Jordan McLean and Matt Scott are edging closer to return after long injury lay-offs.

McLean has been sidelined since Round 4 after sustaining a serious foot injury against Penrith, while Scott has battled an ongoing neck injury for the past two months.

Green has named both former Kangaroos stars as reserves and said he would monitor the pair throughout the week.

Friday's game kicks off at 6pm.

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Newcastle Knights
Round 20, 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership
6pm, Friday 27 July, 1300SMILES Stadium

Tickets: ticketek.com.au
#NRLCowboysKnights #ridemcowboys #ThanksJT

1. Te Maire Martin
2. Kyle Feldt
3. Enari Tuala
4. Kane Linnett
5. Justin O'Neill
6. Jake Clifford
7. Johnathan Thurston (C)
8. John Asiata
9. Jake Granville
10. Scott Bolton
11. Gavin Cooper
12. Coen Hess
13. Jason Taumalolo

Interchange:
14. Ben Hampton
15. Shaun Fensom
16. Mitchell Dunn
17. Corey Jensen

Reserves:
18. Matt Scott
19. Ethan Lowe
20. Francis Molo
21. Jordan McLean