Murray speaks, Timmins to play

North Queensland coach Graham Murray has thrown his support behind the club's decision to tear up the contract of disgraced prop Mitchell Sargent.

But Murray says he did not play a role in the decision-making process that led to Sargent's dismissal. Sargent is believed to have fled north Queensland after becoming the first player to be sacked for returning a positive result to an in-house drugs test.

He has admitted to using cocaine at a party following the Cowboys' loss to Newcastle last Saturday. Sargent was one of three North Queensland players tested at random at the club's recovery session on Sunday.

St George Illawarra veteran Shaun Timmins has been cleared to make a shock return from injury for tomorrow night's clash with the struggling Cronulla in Wollongong.

The 30-year-old Timmins feared he'd miss the rest of the season after suffering quadriceps and knee injuries three months ago. But he's recovered in time for the local derby against the Sharks, who have lost their past eight matches and have no chance of making the top eight.

Timmins will come off the bench in place of former Sharks back-rower Sam Isemonger, who has agreed to terms with the seventh-placed Dragons for the 2007 season. Cronulla coach Stuart Raper has dropped Cameron Ciraldo from his bench and drafted in Reece Williams.