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Gallen not named, unlikely to face Tigers

Paul Gallen's renowned recuperative powers seem destined to fall short of getting him on the field for Friday's clash with Wests Tigers.
Gallen not named, unlikely to face Tigers
by AAP

By Joe Barton

SYDNEY, May 7 AAP - Paul Gallen's renowned recuperative powers seem destined to fall short of getting him on the field for Friday's clash with Wests Tigers.

The NSW and Cronulla captain, who suffered a medial ligament strain on Sunday, was not named in Tuesday's team list after failing to convince coach Shane Flanagan he would be ready in time.

The inspirational lock forward is working around the clock to be fit and will be given until game day to be a late call-up, but Flanagan believes the short turnaround will prove too big a hurdle to overcome.

"It's a bit early (to completely rule him out) yet, but I don't like his chances," Flanagan told AAP on Tuesday evening.

"It's a Friday night game, maybe if it was Sunday we might be ok. I don't think he's any chance."

In Gallen's place, off-season recruit Chris Heighington will start in jersey No.13 against his former club while fellow ex-Tigers Beau Ryan and Andrew Fifita have also been given starting roles.

Meanwhile, Manly and St George Illawarra delivered more good news to NSW fans, naming both Brett Stewart and Brett Morris despite injury concerns.

The pair, understood to be pencilled into Laurie Daley's starting lineup for the State of Origin opener, both failed to finish Monday night's tense Sea Eagles victory.

Both clubs are confident Stewart (back) and Morris (knee) will be able to take the field this weekend.

Dragons coach Steve Price said he was hopeful Morris and veteran centre Matt Cooper, who missed Monday's match with a toe injury, would face the Gold Coast on Sunday.

"Both players will be monitored by our medical staff throughout the week in the build-up to the game and given every opportunity to prove their match fitness," he said.

The Gold Coast welcome back star wingers Kevin Gordon and David Mead from injury, bolstering their backline for the Dragons match-up, while Brisbane centre Justin Hodges (hamstring) also returns.

Newcastle will be without key five-eighth Jarrod Mullen (knee), forcing skipper Kurt Gidley into the halves alongside youngster Tyrone Roberts.

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary will experiment with his fourth halves combination of the year, naming rookie Isaac John to play five-eighth alongside Luke Walsh, with Tom Humble the man to miss out.

John faces a baptism of fire against defending premiers Melbourne, who named an unchanged lineup despite having their 15-game winning streak stopped by Canberra last round.

Youngster Glen Fisiiahi gets a crack at the Warriors fullback role with Kevin Locke sidelined for one to two weeks with a back injury, while powerful centre Konrad Hurrell also returns at the expense of the injured Jerome Ropati (hamstring).




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