Veteran NRL playmaker Benji Marshall has been overlooked for Brisbane’s World Club Series clash with Warrington in the UK due to injury.
Newly named captain Darius Boyd will lead a 19-strong squad that also includes Test forwards Josh McGuire and Sam Thaiday in their first hit-out of 2017.
However, off-season recruit Marshall was a glaring omission for the February 18 clash.
A Brisbane official said the former New Zealand skipper had been given more time to overcome a “minor” Achilles tendon injury suffered at last weekend’s Auckland Nines.
It will be the last chance for several young forwards to impress before coach Wayne Bennett finally settles on a reshuffled pack in the wake of lock and skipper Corey Parker’s 2016 retirement.
Jai Arrow, Herman Ese’ese, George Fai, Joe Ofahengaue and Tevita Pangai Junior will hope to state a case after being included in the squad which flies out on Thursday night.
The trial at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington will be Brisbane’s last before their NRL season opener away against reigning premiers Cronulla on March 2.
Brisbane’s World Club Series trial squad: Jai Arrow, Darius Boyd (capt), Herman Ese’ese, George Fai, Matt Gillett, Alex Glenn, Ben Hunt, Jordan Kahu, Andrew McCullough, Josh McGuire, David Mead, Anthony Milford, Corey Oates, Joe Ofahengaue, Tevita Pangai Jnr, Jonus Pearson, James Roberts, Jaydn Su’A, Sam Thaiday.