Lawrence returns for Tigers in NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lawrence returns for Tigers in NRL

Ian McCullough 05/07/2011 06:22:48 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers' centre Chris Lawrence will make a sensational return to NRL action on Friday against Parramatta.

There were fears the classy centre's career could be over after he dislocated his hip against Canberra in round two, but Lawrence was named by coach Tim Sheens on Tuesday in the side to face the Eels at Parramatta Stadium.

Veteran Tigers' prop Todd Payten, who will retire at the end of the season, is also back following a knee injury.

Newcastle halfback Jarrod Mullen returns for the Knights against North Queensland in Monday's clash at Ausgrid Stadium.

It was initially thought the former NSW playmaker would be sidelined for the season after tearing his pectoral muscle in the round 12 win over Parramatta.

However, the injury was not as serious as first feared and Mullen is named in the starting line-up at the expense of impressive young rookie Ryan Stig, who drops down to an extended six-man bench.

The Cowboys are boosted by Queensland centre Willie Tonga's recovery from the shoulder injury he suffered in the opening State of Origin clash.

Warriors' workhorse Micheal Luck returns for Friday's encounter against the Gold Coast at Mount Smart Stadium.

Luck was expected to be out for eight weeks after dislocating his kneecap in the round 14 loss to the Tigers, but has been named in the starting line-up after making a rapid recovery.

Kiwi international prop Sam Rapira is also back, and will come off the bench against the cellar-dwelling Titans.

Rapira dislocated his thumb in the Anzac Test in May and his return is a boost to Ivan Cleary's side who have lost their past four games.

Canberra have not named NSW fullback Josh Dugan in their side to face Cronulla at Toyota Stadium on Saturday, but Raiders' coach David Furner hinted on Monday he could well start against the in-form Sharks at Toyota Stadium.

"He may be close, with Duges. He's not been training with the squad, but with the rehab squad, but he's anice player to have coming back but, with the short turnaround, we will have to wait and see," said Furner after his side's win over Sydney Roosters.

"We will assess the situation during the week."

Tom Learoyd-Lahrs is definitely out for the green machine after his season officially ended on Tuesday when scans showed he had torn a biceps tendon.

His place in the side will be taken by Dane Tilse, with young backrower Sam Mataora included on the bench.

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