Ray Thompson faces ankle surgery
A major casualty has emerged out of the Indigenous All Stars camp just a day before the Harvey Norman NRL All Stars fixture, with hooker Ray Thompson ruled out of Saturday's match at Suncorp Stadium after suffering a fractured ankle at training.
It is a blow for not only the Indigenous team but also the North Queensland Cowboys, ruling him out of the NRL premiers' upcoming World Club Challenge match against Leeds.
The injury occurred early on Friday morning at the last training session for the Indigenous All Star team.
The hooker collapsed at Langlands Park and players were heard screaming "call an ambulance" as coach Laurie Daley rushed onto the field to try and help the Papua New Guinea international.
Thompson will be looking at 12-14 weeks on the sidelines and Daley says it is a huge blow to not only the Indigenous team but also the Cowboys.
"Ray Thompson has broken his ankle. He's not in a good way – it's a spiral fracture," Daley said.
"It was just an accident at training – he was in a lot of pain so we took him to hospital and he will be operated on tonight.
"It's a shame for Ray because he was going really well and looking forward to the game.
"He was set to go over to the World Club Challenge with the Cowboys so he's obviously disappointed – hopefully he recovers."
Penrith's Will Smith has been called into the team to replace Thompson, while the injury opens the door for 22-year-old Bulldogs hooker Craig Garvey to start the game after originally being picked on the bench for the Indigenous team.