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New Cowboy Martin to miss Penrith NRL game

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/06/2017 Warren Barnsley

Te Maire Martin's arrival in North Queensland looks to have come too late to face former club Penrith in Saturday's NRL clash.

Cowboys coach Paul Green is set to name youngster Kyle Laybutt alongside Michael Morgan in the halves with superstar playmaker Johnathan Thurston out with injury.

Five-eighth Martin was named on an extended bench on Tuesday, a day after landing in Townsville having signed a two-and-a-half year deal.

But Green is reluctant to play the 21-year-old New Zealander in the home clash after less than a week of training with new teammates.

"It's a big ask for a kid," Green told Sky Sports Radio on Friday.

"He's only been here not even a week yet, so it'd be a big ask to throw him in, particularly against his old club too, so there'd be a bit more pressure on him there."

Green said Laybutt deserved to keep his spot after performing well in last week's one-point loss to Melbourne, with Thurston absent on State of Origin duty.

Laybutt is set to partner Morgan in the halves after the Queensland bench player played a key role in the Origin II victory over NSW on Wednesday.

The Cowboys expect Martin to be a long-term replacement for veteran Thurston, who is likely to play his last season next year.

Martin played 13 games since making his NRL debut last year.

A shoulder reconstruction limited his 2016 to six games, while injury and form issues led to Martin falling out of favour with Panthers coach Anthony Griffin this season.

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