Matt Bowen ruled out for four NRL games - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matt Bowen ruled out for four NRL games

By Ed Jackson 16/06/2009 07:39:27 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland have confirmed star fullback Matt Bowen will miss the next four weeks of the NRL season with a broken rib.

The Cowboys star was injured in the second half of Sunday's 32-18 loss to St George Illawarra in Wollongong.

Cowboys assistant coach Michael Crawley said Bowen's absence will be a big blow for the team with three players already on State of Origin duty.

Halfback Johnathan Thurston has been joined in the Queensland squad by centre Willie Tonga, while forward Luke O'Donnell is in the NSW team.

"Matt's very hard to replace, he brings a lot to the team," Crawley said.

"But it's a test of our depth and it's what we've spoken about since the start of the year.

"We knew Origin would be a tough time for us so it's a test for players this week to step up."

Ty Williams will move into the fullback position in Bowen's absence.

Former Warrior Grant Rovelli and Shannon Hegarty have been called into the team to play the Roosters on Saturday in Townsville.

New recruit Michael Bani, who joined the club from Manly earlier this month, will make his debut for the Cowboys after also being named in the team.

For the Roosters, Willie Mason returns after resting his sore knee for a week, replacing prop Mark O'Meley who is out for three weeks with a broken hand.

In other club news, the Wests Tigers have named Chris Heighington for Sunday's match in Melbourne despite the backrower being in doubt with an abductor muscle injury.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens has also brought Rhys Hanbury into the team which beat Parramatta 23-6 on Monday with hooker Robbie Farah on Origin duty.

Hanbury will line-up at centre while Blake Ayshford moves to five-eighth and John Morris replaces Farah at hooker.

While the Storm will be missing their four Origin players, Kiwi international Sika Manu will return to the line-up after missing last week's match against South Sydney because he was quarantined after showing swine flu symptoms.

Penrith have named Trent Waterhouse as skipper for their match with the Bulldogs, but youngster Lachlan Coote has been ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury sustained in Saturday's loss to Manly.

Coote will have surgery on the shoulder in the next two to three weeks.

The Bulldogs have moved Chris Armit off the bench to replace prop Ben Hannant, who is away with the Queensland Origin team.

Brad Morrin will come into squad on the bench in his first grade appearance this year.

Cronulla, already missing key duo Paul Gallen and Trent Barrett to Origin duty, will also have to make do without backrower Anthony Tupou who is ruled out with a knee injury.

But the Sharks are at least facing a Brisbane team missing five players through Origin duty as well as Justin Hodges who is still out with a knee injury.

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