Dumped duo returns to bolster Cowboys against Eagles
COWBOYS coach Paul Green hopes dumped duo Lachlan Coote and Ethan Lowe will prove why they should stay in first grade long term after they recalled in a patched-up squad to play Manly tomorrow night.
Fullback Coote and back rower Lowe were the big names who paid the price for the team's shocking first half of the season after being dropped to Queensland Cup in the the past two weeks.
But with Michael Morgan, Coen Hess and Gavin Cooper unavailable through Queensland duty, the pair has been given a reprieve for the must-win clash at Lottoland.
"I would like to think so (they'll be keen to prove a point)," Green said.
"Hopefully they're clear on why they weren't included in the team a couple of weeks ago. Now's their opportunity back in the team, it's up to them.
"The ball's in their court."
Young centre Enari Tuala will start in the NRL for the first time after coming off the bench the past two matches, while prop Sam Hoare has been named for his first NRL game this season following strong form for Mackay Cutters.
Starting prop Scott Bolton (rib cartilage) didn't train on Monday, and will need to get through the captain's run to take his place.
If he is ruled out, back-rower Mitchell Dunn could be in line for an NRL debut after being named on the reserves list. Centre Kane Linnett (pectoral) is also a chance to return.
"When you go into a game like this when you're missing a few of your bigger names, it's a great opportunity for guys to put their hands up and say they're ready for first grade," Green said.
"Without starting the obvious it would be a big blow for us (if Bolton isn't fit).
"Last year in particular guys put their body on the line for the team (when injured), so I would expect if he's close to being right he'll play."
Green said he was surprised Matt Scott was left out of the Queensland side by Maroons coach Kevin Walters for next Wednesday's series opener in Melbourne.
"He's been a mainstay of the team for a number of years. I was a little bit surprised, but obviously Kevvie's got a plan there," Green said.
"We're used to him (and Johnathan Thurston) not being around here (during Origin) so to have their experience will give us a huge boost."
- Jon Tuxworth