You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
NRL.com preview: Manly mass influx; Cowboys duo back from ban

Both clubs had a bye last weekend so fresh legs for both the Cowboys and Manly Sea Eagles shouldn't be a problem, depending on what shape their Origin stars return in.

Manly's captain is also the Queensland skipper - Daly Cherry-Evans - and he has to face both Trboejvic brothers, Jake and Tom, on Wednesday night. The Cowboys also have three on Origin duty with Valentine Holmes, Kyle Feldt and Coen Hess in the Queensland squad. 

Travel could play a part in all this since this game has the shortest turnaround of any this weekend coming just 48 hours after game one of the Ampol State of Origin series.

The Cowboys have momentum coming off a 29-28 comeback win against the Warriors, while the Sea Eagles have motivation losing 18-10 to the Knights, halting their three-match winning streak.

The rundown

Team news

Sea Eagles: Des Hasler, who has Daly Cherry-Evans and the Trbojevic brothers facing a quick turnaround from Origin, could have as many as seven extra players to choose from this week with a significant exodus expected from Manly's casualty ward.

Josh Schuster (hamstring), Kieran Foran (hand), Cade Cust (hamstring), Curtis Sironen (knee), Dylan Walker (hamstring), Haumole Olakau'atu (hand) and Ben Trbojevic (head knock) are all pencilled in for returns. 

Young forward Zac Saddler has been cleared of a serious brain injury after suffering a head knock against the Knights but will undergo surgery for a depressed skull fracture and be sidelined indefinitely.

Cowboys: The visitors are also expecting a healthy boost from returnees with four players available this week after stints on the sideline.

Forwards Jason Taumalolo and Lachlan Burr are free to play after serving suspensions while Francis Molo (head knock) and Justin O'Neill (knee) are expected to be fit and available for selection.

Key match-up

Cade Cust/Kieran Foran v Scott Drinkwater: Both Cust (hamstring) and Foran (hand) are due back and either will be wearing the No.6 jumper to take on Cowboys five-eighth Drinkwater, who is tied with Nathan Cleary in topping the NRL list for line engagements.

Drinkwater has 10 try assists and 16 line breaks (along with five tries of his own) to show his value in operating up in the defence's faces. Cust and Foran have three try assists combined.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Principal Partner

Platinum Partners

Major Partners

VIEW ALL PARTNERS