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Cowboys team list: Round 11 v Knights

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys rookie Heilum Luki has been named to make his NRL debut in Thursday night’s clash with the Newcastle Knights at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

A born and bred North Queensland product, Luki played his junior football for Cairns Brothers before joining the Cowboys Cairns Academy as a teenager.

>>> Payten on Luki's debut, Gilbert starting & the short turnaround

>>> Knights make change v Cowboys 

The 20-year-old only joined the Cowboys NRL squad in November and has been a revelation in his first season of senior football for the Northern Pride in the Queensland Cup.

A towering forward, Luki will start from the interchange and likely play through the middle third of the field in his debut, but is viewed as a second-rower in the long-term.

Tom Gilbert has been elevated to the starting side to play prop for the first time in his brief NRL career.

The 20-year-old made a successful NRL season debut against the Roosters in Magic Round. Gilbert missed the opening weeks of the season due to a broken leg, before returning through the Queensland Cup.

Gilbert takes the starting spot of Coen Hess, who will miss the Knights clash through concussion. Hess is expected to return for the Round 12 showdown with the Warriors.

Thursday’s game kicks off at 7.50pm.

Cowboys team to play Knights:

1.    Valentine Holmes

2.    Kyle Feldt

3.    Javid Bowen

4.    Connelly Lemuelu

5.    Murray Taulagi

6.    Scott Drinkwater

7.    Jake Clifford

8.    Tom Gilbert

9.    Reece Robson

10.  Jordan McLean

11.  Shane Wright

12.  Mitch Dunn

13.  Jason Taumalolo (c)

Interchange

14.  Jake Granville

15.  Lachlan Burr

16.  Francis Molo

17.  Heilum Luki

Reserves

18.  Corey Jensen

19.  Daejarn Asi

20.  Ben Condon

21.  Kane Bradley