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Thompson named on five-man bench

Halfback Ray Thompson could make his return to the NRL for North Queensland against Canterbury on Saturday after being included in an 18-man squad for the ANZ Stadium clash.
Thompson named on five-man bench
by NRL

Halfback Ray Thompson could make his return to the NRL for North Queensland against Canterbury on Saturday after being included in an 18-man squad for the ANZ Stadium clash.

Thompson has missed the victories against Melbourne and Wests Tigers after injuring his shoulder in the round 17 match against Warriors, but is rated a good chance of being fit to face the competition-leading Bulldogs.

He warmed up as 18th man for last night's match at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

Thompson has been included on a five-man interchange bench by coach Neil Henry who not surprisingly has stuck by the same 17 players who beat the Tigers 29-16.

"It's a short turnaround but we don't really have any problems from last night's game ? everyone's okay," Henry said today.

"Ray will come into contention. At a pinch he could have played (against the Tigers) but I thought Michael Morgan was pretty good last night.

"He (Thompson) might have to bide his time.

"Ray's been very solid and you've got to give him credit for his performance so far this year.

"He's been very good for us, particularly defensively, and that was part of Michael's game that he improved last night.

"His running game was very good. He had a couple of strong carries so it will be a decision to be made later in the week."

The Cowboys have won four of their past five matches to move into fourth spot on the NRL ladder, while the Bulldogs are on an eight-game winning streak.

Kick off at ANZ Stadium on Saturday will be at 5.30pm.

CANTERBURY: 1 Ben Barba, 2 Sam Perrett, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Krisnan Inu, 5 Jonathan Wright, 6 Josh Reynolds, 7 Kris Keating, 8 Aiden Tolman, 9 Mick Ennis, 10 James Graham, 11 Frank Pritchard, 12 Josh Jackson, 13 Greg Eastwood. Subs: 14 Martin Taupau, 15 Dale Finucane, 16 Corey Payne, 17 David Stagg, 20 Harlan Alaalatoa (one to be omitted).

NORTH QLD: 1 Matthew Bowen, 2 Kalifa Faifai Loa, 3 Brent Tate, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Johnathan Thurston [c], 7 Michael Morgan, 8 Matthew Scott [c], 9 Aaron Payne, 10 James Tamou, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Glenn Hall, 13 Dallas Johnson. Subs: 14 Anthony Mitchell, 15 Ricky Thorby, 16 Ashton Sims, 17 Scott Bolton, 18 Ray Thompson (one to be omitted).




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