HE HAS not been named, but Broncos captain Sam Thaiday could be a surprise starter in the much-anticipated Queensland derby against the Cowboys in Townsville on Friday night.
Last weekend, Thaiday withdrew from tonight's Origin match in Sydney with a shoulder injury. Such has been his rate of improvement, however, a return in his hometown is on the cards.
For the second time in a month, fellow Broncos Justin Hodges and Petero Civoniceva will not back up from an Origin match, although Ben Hannant, Matt Gillett and Corey Parker will if they come through unscathed.
While the Cowboys have named their three Origin players - Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and James Tamou - speculation is they might not all play. A seven-man bench indicates some late changes may be made.
The Broncos are the only team not to name Origin players, and Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has recalled Blues centre Michael Jennings for their clash with the Titans on the Gold Coast on Sunday.
But in yet another controversial selection, Cleary has dropped fullback Lachlan Coote.