Murray wields axe at Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Murray wields axe at Cowboys

By David Beniuk and Dave Donaghy 18/07/2006 06:51:52 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland coach Graham Murray has axed five players in response to the Cowboys' one win from its last eight starts.

Centre Ty Williams, halfback Brent McConnell, props Ray Cashmere and Mitchell Sargent all find themselves in the Queensland Cup team while utility Justin Smith has been demoted from the bench to 18th man for the match against Brisbane in Townsville.

In a surprise move, Murray named former Queensland State of Origin centre Paul Bowman at lock, while also shifting playmaker Johnathan Thurston from five-eighth to halfback and captain Travis Norton from lock to pivot.

Mark Henry was named in the centres.

"We're obviously trying to pick our best 17 and Paul Bowman won't miss out - he'll be in there," Murray said.

"At this point in time we think he'll be pretty good in the back-row and, as I say, Mark Henry was one of our best players on the weekend so he deserves his spot.

"Ty (Williams) wasn't at his best last weekend. I felt sorry for him. He just hasn't quite got his confidence back and a couple of things that were pretty vital for us just didn't quite come up to scratch."

Origin centre Justin Hodges returns from a hamstring injury for the Broncos while utility Casey McGuire was named on a six-man bench to possibly return from suspension.

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens named NSW State of Origin fullback Brett Hodgson as his latest five-eighth in the ongoing absence of Benji Marshall for the match against Parramatta at Telstra Stadium.

Hodgson has popped up at second receiver in recent weeks but Sheens made it official, moving youngster Shannon McDonnell from the wing to fullback, Daniel Fitzhenry and Jamaal Lolesi to the wings and Shane Elford to the centres.

Hooker Robbie Farah was named in the side but is in doubt with a back injury.

St George Illawarra utility Ben Hornby will play in the centres in Canberra with superstar Mark Gasnier sidelined with a calf injury.

Captain Trent Barrett returns from suspension at five-eighth, Clint Greenshields comes in at fullback and Dean Young replaces Ben Creagh (quadriceps) in the second row.

Back-rower Corey Payne was not considered for selection after a nasty head knock left him concussed but prop Jason Ryles was named after missing the loss to the Bulldogs.

Melbourne named former Test back-rower Michael Crocker, returning from a nine-week suspension for a dangerous throw, as its 18th man while Garret Crossman comes onto the bench for the injured Ben Cross (knee).

Their opponent Cronulla named Ben Pomeroy in the centres with Beau Scott going to the bench.

Sonny Bill Williams moves back to the centres for the clash with the Sydney Roosters at Telstra Stadium after Cameron Phelps' shoulder injury, Andrew Emelio shifting to the wing.

The Roosters named Craig Wing at hooker, with Brett Finch on the bench, while Ryan Cross moves back to centre, Sam Perrett comes in on the wing and Anthony Tupou starts in the second row.

South Sydney dropped Yileen Gordon and said it did not consider centre partner Adam MacDougall because of a virus, Todd Polglase and Germaine Paulson the new centre pairing.

Prop Scott Geddes returns from suspension for the Rabbitohs.

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