Broncos to bench two Origin heroes
DESPITE being the toast of Queensland seven nights ago, Ben Hannant and Ben Te'o will warm the bench for the Broncos in their vital round-19 NRL clash with the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Coach Anthony Griffin has elected to use the State of Origin heroes as interchange players, favouring another Origin rep, Matt Gillett, and tyro prop Josh McGuire to start against the intimidating Warriors pack.
And in another curious selection, he has named back-rower Alex Glenn in the centres in place of the injured Jack Reed.
This is despite the fact that blockbusting young Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell, the scorer of three tries against the Titans last weekend, has succumbed to an ankle injury and will not play.
Gillett will be joined in the starting team by fellow Origin stars Sam Thaiday, Petero Civoniceva, Corey Parker and Justin Hodges.
Manu Vatuvei returns on the wing for the Warriors, utility Lewis Brown has been named in the centres and Omar Slaimankhel is on the bench as cover for injured fullback Kevin Locke.
The Cowboys also welcome back their Origin stars - Johnathan Thurston, Brent Tate, Matt Scott and James Tamou - for their important match with the Storm in Melbourne on Saturday evening.
Michael Morgan has been named on an extended bench as cover for halfback Ray Thompson, who is returning from injury.
As expected Billy Slater will not make his return for the Storm against the Cowboys, but skipper Cameron Smith is back to bolster the premiership favourites following successive losses.
The Sea Eagles have lost one Stewart brother but gained another for their 5.30pm clash with the Knights in Newcastle on Saturday.
Fullback Brett Stewart has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, but lock Glenn returns after a three-week absence. Dean Whare is the new fullback.
Departing former skipper Luke Lewis will play for the Panthers against the Tigers at Campbelltown on Saturday night. Also returning are his Origin teammates Michael Jennings and Tim Grant.
Skipper Robbie Farah returns for the Tigers and Beau Ryan moves from fullback to wing to cover for Lote Tuqiri, who is out for the season with a broken arm.
Tim Molten is back at fullback.
Following successive wins, the Raiders have made no changes for when they host the Titans on Sunday.
Returning for the visitors are Luke Bailey and Nate Myles, but Greg Bird is not available.
The Sharks will again be without their captain Paul Gallen - who has an abdominal strain - for Sunday's local derby with the Dragons at Wollongong.
The Dragons have switched Brett Morris and Jason Nightingale, with Morris back on the wing.