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After being sidelined for four weeks with a medial ligament injury, Melbourne Storm winger Matt Geyer will return for this week?s clash with North Queensland at the expense of last week?s hat-trick hero Jake Webster.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy has named a 21-man squad as insurance for Kiwi representatives Stephen Kearney and David Kidwell, both of whom are hopeful of backing up from Friday night?s Anzac Test.
Webster is the unlucky player to miss out this week - after scoring a hat-trick in the Storm?s 46-point drubbing of the Rabbitohs last Saturday, he has been squeezed out of the side to accommodate Geyer?s return.
Geyer was initially expected to miss up to two months after rupturing his medial ligament against the Knights in Round 2, but has since made a rapid recovery forcing Webster back to Brisbane Norths this week.
?I was first told I would be out for between six and eight weeks and I was hoping it would be six, so to only miss four games is pretty exciting,? Geyer said.
?Jake did a great job picking up three tries last week, but his chance will come again, he?s only young and we?ve all been there. I did the same thing in 1998, I was thereabouts and had to bide my time and wait for my chance.?
Rodney Howe has been named on the Storm?s extended bench this week after a strong performance in the Queensland Cup that saw the former Test prop get the nod as Norths? players? player.
Young forwards Robert Tanielu, Antonio Kaufusi and Glen Turner ? who returned from a calf injury last week ? all played well for the Devils last week and will also be vying for a place on the Storm bench this Saturday.
?The extended bench is just there to cover the two guys we may have playing in Friday?s Test match,? said assistant coach Peter Sharp, who along with Dean Lance is overseeing preparations this week while Bellamy is in the Australian camp.
?The form line is pretty good, all the forwards at Norths played well last week so it will be up to the coaching staff to see how everybody pulls up on Saturday morning.?
Powerful centre Ben MacDougall has not been named for Saturday night?s match due to a hamstring injury but is still a slim chance of playing if he can pass a fitness test later in the week.
MacDougall was set to make a return against Souths last week but was a late omission after failing to complete the club?s final training session on Friday.
?Ben will be looked at later in the week but he?s not quite ready at the moment so he?ll probably have another week off at this stage,? Sharp added.
MELBOURNE STORM TEAM TO PLAY THE NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS, SATURDAY APRIL 24, AT OLYMPIC PARK (7.30PM):
1. Billy Slater 2. Matt Geyer 3. Steven Bell 4. Matt King 5. Dustin Cooper 6. Scott Hill 7. Matt Orford 8. Robbie Kearns 9. Cameron Smith 10. Alex Chan 11. Peter Robinson 12. Stephen Kearney (c) 13. David Kidwell 14. Danny Williams 15. Kirk Reynoldson 16. Dallas Johnson 17. Ryan Hoffman 18. Robert Tanielu 19. Rodney Howe 20. Glen Turner 21. Antonio Kaufusi