Granville ruled out, Coote in doubt
Jake Granville has been ruled out of the North Queensland Cowboys squad for up to six weeks, after fracturing his fibula with six minutes to go in the Cowboys Round 5 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Ben Hampton will move from his utility position on the interchange bench to starting hooker, and Kalyn Ponga has been named to play in Hampton's usual utility position.
Granville's stint on the sideline could be as short as three weeks, and coach Paul Green will be hoping for that outcome to preserve as much of the hooker's match fitness as possible.
"He started the year really well," Green said.
"His form was probably down a little bit last year but we spoke about a couple of things in the pre-season and where he needed to focus his game and I thought he'd done that really well for us.
"He'd been another point of our attack and defensively just really tough for us through the middle there. Really disappointed for Jake but it gives Ben Hampton his opportunity to start."
There's more bad news for the Cowboys with Lachlan Coote missing training due to pain in his calf, after appearing to hurt it last week.
The issue is to do with the scar tissue around the injured area, and not a strain or tear of the calf itself.
Coote is hopeful to train on Friday, but does run a risk of re-tearing his calf.
Green has named Ponga in the side so that he can move to fullback if needed, but will start in a utility role.
"With 'Cootie' there with a bit of an injury cloud over his calf he hasn't trained so far, hopefully he'll train tomorrow or Friday… that gives us that utility option there."
Full Team: Lachlan Coote, Kyle Feldt, Javid Bowen, Kane Linnett, Gideon Gela-Mosby, Michael Morgan, Johnathan Thurston, Patrick Kaufusi, Ben Hampton, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper, Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo, Kalyn Ponga, John Asiata, Coen Hess, Shaun Fensom.