Gasnier ruled out of Eels encounter - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gasnier ruled out of Eels encounter

By David Beniuk and Todd Balym 01/08/2006 10:25:44 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra has suffered a blow to its season-defining clash with Parramatta this Friday night, with centre Mark Gasnier told to rest his injured calf muscle.

Gasnier has carried a calf strain for the past couple of matches, but this week's short five-day turnaround from Sunday's loss to Melbourne has forced the world's best centre to take a much-needed break.

Dragons backrower Ben Creagh will play centre while the Eels have named Daniel Wagon in the backrow with Chad Robinson moving to prop after Fuifui Moimoi accepted a seven-week suspension for a reckless high tackle.

Moimoi will miss the rest of the NRL regular season and will only play again in 2006 if the Eels reach the preliminary final.

Eels coach Jason Taylor said despite Gasnier not being on the team sheet, he will still prepare to face the NSW and Australian centre.

"I know (Dragons coach) Nathan (Brown) didn't want him to play last week and he played. We will just prepare for him to be playing again," said Taylor.

"You can spend too much time worrying, so we will just prepare for him to be there. If he is not there then it is a bonus for us."

Across the ditch the Warriors' season turned from bad to worse with forward Sione Faumuina ruled out for the rest of the NRL season with a broken left wrist.

Faumuina was left stranded one game short of his 100th NRL game with an eight-week stint on the sidelines expected and possibly surgery.

Prop Ruben Wiki will also miss Saturday's game in Auckland against Cronulla after entering an early guilty plea to a careless high tackle charge.

Prop George Tuakura, 30, is in line to become one of the NRL's oldest debutants after being named on a five-man Warriors bench.

Cronulla hooker Kevin Kingston returns from suspension to take on the Warriors with Reece Williams named in the run-on side for the injured Greg Bird (ribs). Hutch Maiava has been dropped to Premier League.

NSW prop Mark O'Meley returns from a two-week rest for the Bulldogs side to play North Queensland on Saturday with Nate Myles shifted to the bench alongside superstar Sonny Bill Williams.

Queensland Origin centre Josh Hannay was dropped from the Cowboys outfit to allow Paul Bowman to revert from lock to centre.

Penrith coach John Lang named injured former Test forward Trent Waterhouse on a five-man bench for the match against South Sydney at Telstra Stadium on Sunday. Luke Swain moves into the run-on side to replace the injured Matthew Cross.

Souths named Shane Walker at hooker to play his 150th first grade game in place of the injured Stuart Webb.

Shane Perry returns to the Brisbane side to solve the Broncos' halfback dilemma for Saturday's clash with Canberra, while the Raiders named David Howell on a five-man bench in the only change to the team which lost to the Rabbitohs last week.

Melbourne named an unchanged starting line-up for its clash with Wests Tigers at Olympic Park on Saturday, rising star Greg Inglis again named on a six-man bench.

The Tigers hope to unearth another prodigious teenage talent this weekend with 18-year-old centre Keith Eshman to make his NRL debut from the bench.

Eshman is a NSW under-19 representative player and has starred for the Tigers' premier league side this year.

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