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All the Round 25 team news!

Dan Talintyre

Wests Tigers Head Coach Ivan Cleary and Cowboys Coach Paul Green will both sweat on the fitness of a number of key players for Friday’s Round 25 clash.

Both coming off tough losses in Round 24 and facing a six-day turnaround for this week’s match at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, both sides will also potentially head in to the contest with a number of players sidelined due to a myriad of different injuries.

North Queensland’s injury crisis has been well-documented, and potentially reached breaking point on Saturday against the Cronulla Sharks when, having already gained an exemption from the NRL to play two debutants, Michael Morgan went off for his concussion test in as many weeks. He was soon joined up the tunnel by Jason Taumalolo (concussion) and Kalyn Ponga (shoulder), but in good news for Green’s side, the hulking Kiwi international forward returned and will take to the field again this Friday night.

The news was not as good for Ponga, however, who has missed selection in the squad this week, with Ben Hampton named at fullback and Antonio Winterstein on the wing.

With Lachlan Coote named amongst the reserves as he looks to return from an ankle injury, there could be further late changes for Paul Green’s side, who also have listed Gavin Cooper (calf), John Asiata (shoulder) and Shaun Fensom (knee) within the squad.

Making his return from a knee injury last week, former Wests Tigers Holden Cup player Te Maire Martin also got through unscathed from Saturday’s defeat to the Sharks, and will line up alongside Morgan in the halves for the seventh time this season.

For Wests Tigers, Coach Ivan Cleary will be without inspirational forward Elijah Taylor after he picked up a shoulder injury in last Saturday’s loss to the Sydney Roosters.

Michael Chee Kam replaces him in the back row, while Luke Brooks (hamstring) and Kevin Naiqama (ribs) have both been named in a boost for the home side on Friday.

Local junior Bayley Sironen will become Wests Tigers Player 207 when he makes his first-grade debut off the interchange bench, while fellow interchange forward Sauaso Sue will become the 20th player to play 100 first-grade games for Wests Tigers.

Be there for our final Campbelltown game of season 2017 as we take on the North Queensland Cowboys on August 25!

WESTS TIGERS

In’s | Bayley Sironen, Jack Littlejohn

Out’s | Elijah Taylor

Reserves | 18. Joel Edwards 19. Ava Seumanufagai 20. JJ Felise 21. Watson Heleta

Unavailable | Elijah Taylor (shoulder), Moses Suli (ankle), Jacob Liddle (shoulder), Jamal Idris (knee), Justin Hunt (leg)

1. James Tedesco
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Esan Marsters
4. Kevin Naiqama
5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
6. Tuimoala Lolohea
7. Luke Brooks
8. Aaron Woods (capt.)
9. Matt McIlwrick
10. Tim Grant
11. Michael Chee Kam
12. Josh Aloiai
13. Matt Eisenhuth

Interchange:
14. Alex Twal
15. Sauaso Sue (100 NRL games)
16. Bayley Sironen (On debut)
17. Jack Littlejohn

Reserves:
18. Joel Edwards
19. Ava Seumanufagai
20. JJ Felise
21. Watson Heleta

Coach: Ivan Cleary

 

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

In’s | Antonio Winterstein, Shaun Fensom

Out’s | Kalyn Ponga

Reserves | 18. Gavin Cooper 19. Lachlan Coote 20. Kyle Laybutt 21. Enari Tuala

Unavailable | Kalyn Ponga (shoulder), Justin O’Neill (elbow), Matt Scott (knee), Jonathan Thurston (shoulder), Ben Spina (bicep), Patrick Kaufusi (foot)

1. Ben Hampton
2. Kyle Feldt
3. Javid Bowen
4. Kane Linnett
5. Antonio Winterstein
6. Te Maire Martin
7. Michael Morgan (capt.)
8. Corey Jensen
9. Jake Granville
10. Scott Bolton
11. Coen Hess
12. Ethan Lowe
13. Jason Taumalolo

Interchange:
14. John Asiata
15. Shane Wright
16. Patrick Mago
17. Shaun Fensom

Reserves:
18. Gavin Cooper
19. Lachlan Coote
20. Kyle Laybutt
21. Enari Tuala

Coach: Paul Green