The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Versatile Dragon Ben Hornby will be the fourth captain to lead the Dragons this season when they chase their fourth successive win in their Telstra Premiership match against the Raiders this Sunday.
Hornby, 23, who will replace Shaun Timmins as both captain and five-eighth this week because of his Origin duties, is proud and excited at the opportunity.
“I can't wait to lead the team onto Oki Jubilee Stadium,” Hornby said today. “Everyone would like to captain their side. It will be a proud moment. I never expected it to happen this quickly.”
In other changes to the team which beat the Broncos 32-16, Reece Simmonds returns from Premier League to replace Hornby at fullback; Chris Leikvoll earns a start at prop replacing Jason Ryles (Origin); John Cross returns to lock (ribs - 3 weeks) in place of the suspended Michael Howell (early plea - 1 wk); and Nathan Tutt has been promoted from Premier League to start at second row for Luke Bailey (Origin).
NRL (Rd 18) Coach: Nathan Brown 1. Reece SIMMONDS 2. Nathan BLACKLOCK 3. Mark GASNIER 4. Matt COOPER 5. John WILSHERE 6. Ben HORNBY (c) 7. Brett FIRMAN 8. Ian DONNELLY 9. Mark RIDDELL 10. Chris LEIKVOLL 11. Nathan TUTT 12. Henry PERENARA 13. John CROSS 14. Ashton SIMS 15. Brent KITE 16. Dean YOUNG 17. Craig STAPLETON
Premier League (Rd 14) Coach: Michael Potter 1. Amos ROBERTS 2. Ben CREAGH 3. Chris NERO 4. David HOWELL 5. Lee BENNETT 6. Mathew HEAD (c) 7. Dean BYRNE 8. Bryan NORRIE 9. Damien BOWER 10. Steven SOUTHERN 11. Justin POORE 12. Gary McBRIDE 13. Ryan POWELL 14. Jason ELLEM 15. Mark DALLE CORT 16. Brendan WALL 17. Darren PEACHEY 24. Ben LINDE