TOUGH English hooker Scott Moore has been added to an extended Cowboys bench for their Friday night epic against the Rabbitohs in Sydney, and may well start the game.
It will be essential for the Cowboys to fire from the opening whistle against the rampaging Rabbitohs and while Rory Kostjasyn has done an admirable job in his first full-time stint as a dummy half, the rugged defence of Moore might be enough to give him the nod in this crucial clash.
The 25-year-old Englishman, who joined the Cowboys on the recommendation of his former Castleford coach and now Cowboys assistant, Terry Matterson, received the nod as starting No.9 at season's start but was dropped after four rounds.
His form for Northern Pride in the QCup has been eye catching, however, and coach Neil Henry has named him on an extended bench alongside the versatile Ray Thompson.
Apart from Moore and Scott Bolton on a six-man bench, the Cowboys are otherwise unchanged for the ANZ Stadium blockbuster.
The Rabbitohs have also named the same 17 that convincingly beat the Broncos last weekend, but have added Jeff Lima and Justin Hunt to their bench.
While the Rabbitohs are in superb form after a 7-1 start to the season and the Cowboys mediocre at 4-4, a poor record in Sydney has the odds clearly stacked against the visitors.
Since their grand final year of 1995 the Cowboys have not won back-to-back matches in Sydney, and their recent record down there is just two wins from their past 12 visits.
Stacking the odds even further against them is the fact the Rabbitohs have won seven of the past eight clashes between the two teams.
Returning for the Broncos against the Eels on Saturday night will be Justin Hodges, David Stagg and Josh McGuire - all three will play if passed fit.
Winger Lachlan Maranta has been rested, with Jordan Kahu moving from centre to wing.
The Panthers have named two newcomers - five-eighth Isaac John and interchange forward Sam Anderson - for their clash with the Storm at Centrebet Stadium on Sunday.
John is a former Warrior with nine NRL appearances but 22 year-old Anderson, from Newcastle is a rookie.
Other significant team changes include:
- Glenn Fisiiahi and Konrad Hurrell back for the Warriors
- Co-captain David Shillington named on the Raiders' bench after a three-game absence
- Wingers David Mead and Kevin Gordon return for the Titans
- Steve Matai returns for the Sea Eagles after a week's suspension
- Tim Simona and Sauaso Sue named to start for the Tigers
- Jarrod Mullen unavailable for the Knights, with Kurt Gidley switching to five-eighth
- Jason Bukuya to replace injured Sharks captain Paul Gallen
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