Gidley shifted to fullback for Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley shifted to fullback for Knights

By Philip Henderson 29/04/2008 07:53:47 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle coach Brian Smith has done NSW selectors no favours by naming Kurt Gidley at fullback for Saturday's clash with NRL leaders the Gold Coast - but may yet have thrown up a late candidate for the Blues No.7.

Jarrod Mullen, who made his State of Origin debut last year, will start at halfback for the Knights at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

His return from a leg injury sees Gidley - who has been touted as a possible NSW No.7 for Game I of the series - shifted back to his regular custodial position after playing a leading role at seven in the Knights' upset of the Sydney Roosters in their last game.

While Mullen would be considered a long shot at this stage for Blues selection, a few good weeks could see him back in the mix, particularly with Gidley set to remain at No.1.

Smith also named skipper Danny Buderus in his side to face the Titans, although the hooker would appear unlikely to back up from Friday's City-County game.

All teams affected by the representative match this week have named an extended bench, with the Titans set to travel to Newcastle with an extra four players in case City-Country stars Brett Delaney, Anthony Laffranchi and Mark Minichiello fail to back-up.

Parramatta forward Josh Cordoba has been ruled out for six weeks after sustaining an AC joint injury in training, tempering the return of hooker Mark Riddell from a sterno-clavicular injury for Saturday's match with Penrith.

Parramatta have named all five of their players from City-Country, with the Panthers naming rep stars Luke Lewis and Luke Rooney on an extended bench.

The Wests Tigers have moved John Morris back to five-eighth with Dean Halatau named at hooker for their match with Brisbane following Benji Marshall's withdrawal with a recurrence of his knee injury.

Brisbane have named Joel Moon in the centres to replace the injured Steve Michaels, with Test centre Justin Hodges under a cloud due to a neck injury and virus.

Canberra skipper Alan Tongue and hooker Lincoln Withers are both set to return from injury to face the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.

"Indications are Lincoln's eye has cleared up despite a bit of blurred vision there, and Tonguey tested his leg out last week and ran at about 80 per cent so hopefully by Sunday he'll be right," coach Neil Henry said.

The injury-ravaged Warriors have included teenage prop Russell Packer for his NRL debut with skipper Ruben Wiki (hand) the latest to join a casualty list which has left the club with a bare 17 fit players from their NRL squad.

Souths were forced to make a host of changes with Eddie Paea, Jaiman Lowe, Fetuli Talanoa and Ben Rogers all dropped for breaking an alcohol ban, with the promotion of veteran forward Dean Widders from NSW Cup to Bunnies starting five-eighth the most interesting move.

The Cowboys have named Jacob Lillyman at lock with the forward set to fight a dangerous tackle charge at the judiciary on Wednesday night. He will be banned for two weeks if found guilty.

Referee Jared Maxwell has been handed the whistle for Friday's City-Country match in Wollongong.

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