The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Injury continues to plague Storm fullback Robbie Ross after he was ruled out of this weeks clash with the North Queensland Cowboys due to a tear in his right hamstring.
Ross was taken from the field late in the second half of last week's 20-point loss to the Brisbane Broncos and has failed to successfully recover this week.
In other team changes Fifita Moala has replaced Semi Tadulala on the wing and Mitchell Sargent has been dropped to make way for the return of Peter Robinson who was a late withdrawal last week after battling severe tonsillitis.
With Ross out of the side Steven Bell comes in to the centres to cover Junior Langi who moves to the fullback position.
Storm physiotherapist Greg Gibson says Ross was taken from the field last week as a precaution but this hamstring injury is not related to the injury that impeded his season in 2001.
“We took him (Ross) off as a cautionary measure as he was starting to tighten up and mentioned that it was progressively getting harder to run out there,” Gibson said.
“As the game had been determined we decided to take him off which turned out to be the right decision because he had an MRI on Monday that showed he has a small tear in his hamstring. However this injury is unrelated to what he had last year.
“He has recovered really well this week and will start running tomorrow (Wednesday) so everything is looking good it's just that given his history and where he's at it was the smart decision to rest him this week.” Meanwhile captain Rodney Howe has been cleared after tests revealed he does not have a fractured hand.
THE MELBOUNRE STORM TEAM TO PLAY THE NTH. QLD. COWBOYS, THIS SATURDAY AT DAIRY FARMERS STADIUM, 3PM
1. Junior Langi 2. Fifita Moala 3. Aaron Moule 4. Steven Bell 5. Marcus Bai 6. Scott Hill 7. Matt Orford 8. Peter Robinson 9. Richard Swain 10. Rodney Howe (c) 11. Danny Williams 12. Stephen Kearney 13. Willie Leyshon
14. Shane Walker 15. Ian Sibbit 16. Matt Rua 17. Kirk Reynoldson
IN- Peter Robinson, Fifita Moala, Steven Bell OUT- Mitchell Sargent (omitted), Semi Tadulala (omitted), Robbie Ross (injury)
STORM TRAINING THIS WEEK Wed: Olympic Park (10am) Thurs: Olympic Park (10am) Fri: Nth Qld (4pm)
For further information Contact James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]