Hooker Freddy Lussick comes in for the unavailable Wayde Egan while utility Dylan Walker has been drafted into the halves for the One New Zealand Warriors’ seventh-round NRL encounter with North Queensland at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday (5.00pm kick-off).
With stand-in captain Egan following NRL concussion protocols, Lussick is named for his second start of the season having previously filled in when Egan was ruled out of the first home game of the season at Mount Smart against Canterbury Bankstown on March 26.
Martin’s return from a one-game absence through concussion ended sadly on Sunday night when he was helped from the field after 46 minutes.
He is facing eight weeks on the sideline following confirmation he fractured his left fibula in his bid to score a try in the contest in Newcastle.
In his absence One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster has turned to the vastly experienced Walker to partner Shaun Johnson in halves.
So far this season Walker has been extensively used off the bench in the middle of the field but has also shifted into a playmaking role as he did after Martin left the field in Newcastle.
Of Walker’s 192 NRL appearances, more than 40 have been at standoff for South Sydney and, mainly, for Manly Warringah.
Match: Warriors v Cowboys
Round 7 -
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott Drinkwater
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Edward KosiWinger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam PompeyCentre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
Centre for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo MontoyaCentre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
Winger for Warriors is number 18 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Dylan WalkerFive-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun JohnsonHalfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend
Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Cowboys is number 11 Coen Hess
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Freddy LussickHooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
Prop for Warriors is number 16 Jazz TevagaProp for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
2nd Row for Warriors is number 15 Josh Curran2nd Row for Cowboys is number 18 Jack Gosiewski
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu HarrisLock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo
Interchange for Warriors is number 10 Bunty AfoaInterchange for Cowboys is number 8 Mitchell Dunn
Interchange for Warriors is number 12 Bayley SironenInterchange for Cowboys is number 10 Reuben Cotter
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Taine TuaupikiInterchange for Cowboys is number 15 Tom Chester
Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom AleInterchange for Cowboys is number 16 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
Replacement for Warriors is number 21 Demitric SifakulaReplacement for Cowboys is number 17 Riley Price
- Referee: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
Included again at loose forward is captain Tohu Harris who hopes to make his comeback from the first half knee injury suffered against the Bulldogs which has kept him out of the last two matches against the Sharks and the Knights.
That sees Jazz Tevaga again listed on the interchange along with fullback Taine Tuaupiki, back rower Josh Curran and impressive 24-year-old middle forward Tom Ale.
The fast-developing Ale is showing the benefit of consistent exposure at first-grade level. Used from the bench in all six games so far, he had his longest shift of his career playing for 46 minutes on Sunday night. Despite being used from the interchange he made more metres (155 from 14 runs) than any other forward on the park and totalled 31 tackles without a miss.
Again named in jersey #18 is veteran winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak as he strives to return to the NRL for the first time this season after being out with a calf injury. He had a four-try haul and topped 200 metres in his comeback with the club’s New South Wales Cup side in Sunday’s 54-14 win over the Knights.
The club’s future is captured on the extended bench which includes four young players who have helped the One New Zealand Warriors to second spot on the NSW Cup ladder.
Halfback Ronald Volkman (20), with three NRL appearances so far, is joined by three 19-year-olds in back rower Demitric Sifakula, centre Ali Leiataua and prop Zyon Maiu’u.
Sifakula was upgraded to a fulltime NRL contract in February while Leiataua and Maiu’u are both on development deals.
Saturday’s game is the second against the Cowboys in four weeks following the One New Zealand Warriors’ memorable 26-12 victory in Townsville. They also played the Knights twice in a matter of weeks and will do likewise with the Roosters and the Bulldogs in the next month.