Canterbury coach Des Hasler has been forced to make late changes to his side to meet Brisbane after losing four players to injury.
Josh Morris, Greg Eastwood, Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Tim Browne all failed fitness tests and will miss Saturday’s round 16 NRL clash against the Broncos at ANZ Stadium.
However Hasler confirmed his State of Origin II players Josh Jackson and David Klemmer would play.
“We have lost four overnight,” said Hasler at Bulldogs training on Friday.
“J-Moz (Morris) failed a fitness test yesterday. Greg Eastwood was ruled out yesterday. Ray (Faiala-Mariner) was ruled out overnight as too was Tim Browne.
“The good news is that David Klemmer and Josh Jackson will both play.
Hasler said Brett Morris was still at least a week away from playing his first game of the NRL season as his recovery from a knee injury continues.
Morris was running at training but was yet to be involved in contact work.
“He is well, it has been a delicate process and we don’t want to rush him back,” Hasler said.
Klemmer and Jackson will be on deck as the Dogs bid for a top-four spot, although both Blues forwards may start off the bench in the match just three days after Origin II.
“Both players are interchange potentially, and those two particular players don’t like being left out,” Hasler said.
Of greatest concern is the injury to centre Josh Morris who missed NSW’s loss in Origin II due to a groin complaint.
“It was bad enough for him to miss out on Origin and we have to monitor that,” Hasler said.
“That type of injury can be ongoing. We don’t want to inflame the situation.
Canterbury have battled with injuries to significant personnel for much of the season.
“At some stage, sometime, we might get our full team on the park,” Hasler said.
“But that is part of the landscape. It is something that is not uncommon. Clubs have been in worse positions and you combat that with your depth.
Hasler didn’t reveal how he would shuffle his side around, but Lloyd Perrett could move into the starting side at prop and Tyrone Phillips might come into the threequarter line.