Matt Scott has recovered from a corked thigh and will back up his gutsy Origin I effort by leading North Queensland onto the park against Manly on Saturday.
Scott was expected to be sidelined for the clash after pulling up sore after playing a leading hand in Queensland’s 11-10 win over NSW at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
The 29-year-old ran for 126 metres and made 23 tackles in a strong display for the Maroons.
However Cowboys assistant coach John Cartwright said he had shown few ill effects at training on Friday and was readying to run out against Manly in Townsville.
“He got through that session fine,” Cartwright said.
“With the short turnaround there’s always that chance that they’ll wake up a little bit sore on day three or four but he got through that training session fine and all the indication are that he’ll play.”
The Cowboys’ other three Origin players – James Tamou, Michael Morgan and Johnathan Thurston will also back up.
For Manly, Daly Cherry-Evans is at least a week away from returning from a shoulder problem however his halves partner Kieran Foran will return from a hamstring injury.
Foran will partner regular second rower Tom Symonds in the halves while Feleti Mateo has also been ruled out.
“Tom has done a good job there (at five-eight),” Manly coach Geoff Toovey said.
“He got injured last week, he had a bit of a shoulder injury but he’s recovered okay.”
The Cowboys go into the game in fourth spot on equal competition points with ladder leaders Melbourne while the Sea Eagles are just two points in front of last-placed Parramatta.
Cartwright said the Cowboys were viewing it as a danger game and they couldn’t read too much into the table at this point in the season.
“You look at the table and you would expect the Cowboys to win but it just doesn’t work like that,” Cartwright said.
“We’ve got four guys backing up from a really tough game and it’s going to be a slog for us.”
STATS THAT MATTER
* This is Manly’s 1500th premiership match.
* The Cowboys have a horrible record against the Sea Eagles, winning only eight of 23 matches overall and just three of their past 12.
* The Cowboys have the best completion rate in the competition this season. In their last two matches, they completed 34 from 36 against the Broncos and 35 from 41 against the Wests Tigers.
* The Sea Eagles have won three from their opening 10 matches which represents their worst start since 2004.
* Brett Stewart requires just one more try to equal Nathan Merritt (154 tries) as the eighth highest ever try-scorer.