Late mail: Cowboys, Sharks and Bulldogs

North Queensland five-eighth Jason Smith has been ruled out of Saturday's game against St George Illawarra with an ankle injury.

The veteran playmaker failed a fitness test this morning after injuring his ankle in the second half of Saturday's win over the Sydney Roosters. Coach Graham Murray says Justin Smith will likely come in to the starting side at pivot for the match at OKI Jubilee Stadium.

Moving on to the Shire, and injured Cronulla trio Adam Dykes, Lance Thompson and Ben Pomeroy will have until tomorrow to prove their fitness for Saturday's NRL match against South Sydney.

All three missed training today and are unlikely to play, although coach Ricky Stuart will wait until Friday morning's practice before making a final decision and naming replacements. Dykes, who is struggling with a foot injury, is the worst of the three with both backrower Thompson (knee) and centre Pomeroy (hip) showing signs of improvement today.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have taken a leaf out of American sport and dedicated the number 18 jersey to their fans.

The number will no longer be worn by any player at the club, with a giant number 18 jersey to be on display in the crowd at all Bulldogs home games. Bulldogs chief executive Malcolm Noad says the idea came from the club's recent trip to the United States, where sport's like American football often refer to teams fans as the 12th man.

The Bulldogs host the Gold Coast Titans at Telstra Stadium on Sunday where the club will also honour more than 200 former players as part of their legends week festivities.