South Sydney fully loaded for big trip to North Queensland
NORTH Queensland may be at home, where it plays its best football, but South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has named a powerful side for what shapes as a crucial clash at 1300Smiles Stadium on Saturday night.
With Greg Inglis (pictured) back in the No.1 jumper and Nathan Merritt returning to his favourite wing role the Rabbitohs, could put another nail in the Cowboys' finals coffin after North Queensland slumped to its seventh straight loss of the season without representative stars Matt Scott (six weeks) and Brent Tate (season) on the sidelines.
Cowboys coach Paul Green was struggling to name a side yesterday after injuries to halfback Ray Thompson (hamstring) and a rib injury to hooker Rory Kostjaysn who both failed to finish Monday night's game.
Likewise table-topping Penrith has named a near full-strength squad of 19 with two players to be dropped which includes the return of lock Adam Docker forcing classy utility Tyrone Peachey back to his impact role off the bench.
Origin hopeful Dane Nielsen makes a timely return for the Warriors replacing suspended Ngani Laumape who is expected to take an early guilty plea to a grade 3 dangerous throw charge on Brisbane forward Josh McGuire that will see him suspended for three games as apposed to five should he make an unsuccessful challenge.
Brisbane will be without Matt Gillett (shoulder) and also Corey Parker (facial fracture) and hooker Andrew McCullough for their clash with the under siege Cronulla Sharks but will be boosted by the return of rested Origin star Justin Hodges with boom youngster Corey Oates promoted into the starting side for Friday night's clash at Suncorp Stadium.