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International centre Brent Tate will stake his claim for a recall to the Queensland Origin side in this week?s clash with the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium after overcoming a shoulder injury suffered in Brisbane?s loss to the Sharks.
Tate was forced to withdraw from the second interstate match in Brisbane, which saw Queensland level the series with an inspirational victory.
Rookie centre Willie Tonga starred for the Maroons, scoring a crucial second half try and troubling opposite number Matt Gidley almost every time he touched the ball. Veteran Cowboys three-quarter Paul Bowman was also impressive, pulling off some punishing hits in defence.
Selection committee chair Gene Miles has indicated Tate will be drafted back into the squad for the decider, meaning one of either Tonga or Bowman is likely to miss out.
?Both those guys were great,? said Tate.
Experienced utilities Ben Ikin and Stu Kelly have been named in the 19-man squad, however, injured pair Gorden Tallis (neck) and Shaun Berrigan (hamstring) will not be back before next week.
Returning veteran Darren Smith, who cross twice in last week?s 34-24 win over the Eels, has been included on the six-man bench and is likely to play this week before heading back to Queensland Cup club Easts.
Round 16 V: Canberra Raiders VENUE: Suncorp Stadium DATE: Sunday, June 27, 2004 TIME: 2.30 pm COACH: Wayne Bennett TEAM: 1: Karmichael Hunt 2: Scott Minto 3: Brent Tate 4: Michael DeVere 5: Craig Frawley 6: Darren Lockyer (c) 7: Casey McGuire 8: Shane Webcke 9: Michael Ryan 10: Petero Civoniceva 11: Corey Parker 12: Dane Carlaw 13: Tonie Carroll INTERCHANGE: 14: Darren Mapp 15: Brad Meyers 16: Neville Costigan 17: Darren Smith 18: Ben Ikin 19: Stu Kelly (two to be omitted)