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NSW Origin 1 rookie Ben Hornby will replace injured Dragons captain Trent Barrett at five-eighth against the Roosters at Aussie Stadium this Friday night.
Dragons captain Trent Barrett said today his dislocated shoulder was improving but the ?safest thing may be to miss one week?, while Lance Thompson (ankle ? 2 weeks) has been given another week to recover.
Hornby?s fullback spot will be filled by NRL rookie Clint Greenshields, while the Dragons have made several other changes to cover injuries and the suspension of David Howell (3 weeks - striking) and Mark Riddell (1 week ? dangerous throw) who took the early plea today.
Nathan Blacklock returns to the wing after a stint in Premier League last week following his six-week lay-off with a hamstring injury and Lincoln Withers will start at hooker in place of Riddell. A six-man bench (with two to be omitted) has been named including Henry Perenara, who returned from a 14-week lay-off with a shoulder injury in Premier League last week.
In other news, the Dragons have re-signed winger Reece Simmonds for two years (until the end of 2006) and former Sharks winger/centre/fullback Colin Best, who has been playing with Hull (England), for one year with a one year option.
Dragons coach Nathan Brown said: ?Colin is a big, athletic try-scorer and we are looking forward to having him on board. He can play wing, centre or fullback, so we cover our bases by signing him.?
NRL (Rd 19) v Roosters, Coach: Nathan Brown 1. Clint GREENSHIELDS 2. Nathan BLACKLOCK 3. John CARLAW 4. Matt COOPER 5. Reece SIMMONDS 6. Ben HORNBY 7. Mathew HEAD 8. Brent KITE 9. Lincoln WITHERS 10. Jason RYLES 11. Dean YOUNG 12. Ben CREAGH 13. Shaun TIMMINS ? 14. Michael HENDERSON 15. Bryan NORRIE 16. Henry PERENARA 17. Tony JENSEN 18. Aaron WHEATLEY 19. Ryan POWELL *Two to be omitted