WAYNE Bennett has chosen to rest two of his State of Origin stars for Saturday’s clash with the Warriors in New Zealand.
With the Broncos to meet the Warriors this weekend followed by a short turnaround of five days into the June 9 clash with the Raiders on Thursday week, the Queensland Origin reps could be playing three games in eight days.
The Broncos have moved to alleviate that load by leaving second rower Matt Gillett and winger Corey Oates for the game in New Zealand.
Fullback Darius Boyd, and forwards Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday all have long experience in backing up for matches, and have been named.
Josh McGuire, who will come off the bench for Queensland so is unlikely to play as many minutes as the others, is also in the team.
Bennett named a 19-man squad for the match today, with that squad to be trimmed or added to when the full wash-up of tomorrow night’s Origin opener is clear.
Under NRL rules, those unnamed players could still be inserted into the squad later in the week.
Lachlan Maranta was chosen on the wing in place of Oates after making a try-scoring comeback from a knee injury in the loss to the Tigers last week.
Thaiday was named to start in the second row, with young forwards Tevita Pangai, Herman Ese’ese and Jai Arrow bracketed on a six-man interchange list.
In a forced change, Travis Waddell will start at hooker after Andrew McCullough had an operation to repair a fractured thumb yesterday.
He will be out for four to six weeks.
The Broncos will train at Red Hill tomorrow before leaving for New Zealand early the following day.
The club’s representative players will meet the rest of the team in Auckland on Thursday night, when the Broncos will be able to start assembling their final squad for the match against the Warriors.
BRONCOS NRL TEAM
1. Darius Boyd
2. Lachlan Maranta
3. Jack Reed
4. James Roberts
5. Jordan Kahu
6. Anthony Milford
7. Ben Hunt
8. Josh McGuire
9. Travis Waddell
10. Adam Blair
11. Alex Glenn
12. Sam Thaiday
13. Corey Parker ©
14. Jarrod Wallace
15. Tevita Pangai Jnr
16. Joe Ofahengaue
17. Kodi Nikorima
18. Herman Ese’ese
19. Jai Arrow
Coach: Wayne Bennett
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