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Benji returns with Hunt for Broncos in NRL

NZN 23/05/2017 Matt Coughlan

Brisbane have recalled Benji Marshall to their NRL side to partner Ben Hunt in the halves, with both players making timely returns from injury coinciding with State of Origin I.

Marshall returned for Broncos' feeder side Redcliffe last week, his first competitive match since breaking his wrist earlier in the season.

The 32-year-old is set to make his first start for Brisbane in Saturday's clash against the Warriors in Auckland, alongside Hunt who has been sidelined for six weeks with a hamstring injury.

Marshall's selection has been prompted by Anthony Milford's call up to Queensland's State of Origin team and hooker Andrew McCullough's serious concussion.

Travis Waddell has been named to wear the No. 9 jersey, while Kodi Nikorima drops to the bench.

Jordan Kahu replaces Darius Boyd at fullback.

While Marshall was satisfied with his comeback in Redcliffe's 22-12 victory over Norths Devils, coach Adam Mogg was scathing.

"I'm really disappointed in our spine," Mogg told the Courier Mail.

"I thought it was really, really poor execution with the ball. It's that simple.

"I just thought our spine in Benji and Tyson didn't stick anywhere near our game plan.

"It's something I don't think is acceptable.

"That's not what team sports are about."

Corey Oates, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire and Sam Thaiday are the other Broncos who miss due to Origin.

Meanwhile, Cronulla youngster Fa'amanu Brown has been named to start at five-eighth in the place of James Maloney for the Sharks' clash with Canterbury.

The Sharks have also lost Jack Bird, Andrew Fifita and Wade Graham to the Blues, with Matt Prior and Kurt Capewell joining the starting pack.

Canterbury are set to give starts to winger Marcelo Montoya, along with forwards Greg Eastwood and Danny Fualalo with Brett Morris, Josh Jackson and David Klemmer in camp with NSW.

The Sydney Roosters have turned to 20-year-old Connor Watson to cover Mitchell Pearce's absence, with Luke Keary shifting to No.7.

Mitchell Aubusson is pushed into the backline for the Origin-depleted Roosters who will also be without Blake Ferguson, Boyd Cordner, Dylan Napa and Aidan Guerra for the club's match against Canberra on Sunday.

The Raiders lose just one player for the May 31 Origin series opener with Josh Papalii replaced by Sia Soliola in the second row.

Michael Jennings is out injured for Parramatta's match against South Sydney, with Brad Takairangi starting at centre, while lock Nathan Brown has been named despite a rib injury.

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