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Trbojevic chance to make shock NRL return

NZN 6/06/2017 Steve Zemek

Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic is poised to make a shock return from injury on Friday night against Newcastle, delivering NSW State of coach Laurie Daley an almighty selection headache.

The Sea Eagles' No.1 has been named on an extended bench to take on the Knights at Lottoland after making a miraculous recovery from knee and ankle injuries.

When Trbojevic went down in their spiteful round-10 loss to Brisbane, he looked to have sustained a long-term injury, scuppering any chances of making his NSW Origin debut this year.

He was subsequently pencilled in for a round-18 NRL return but, after resuming training, the 20-year-old could be back on the park this week.

His teammates marvelled as he put himself in the frame for a comeback a month ahead of schedule, but coach Trent Barrett could yet rest him for another week, especially with the side having a bye the following weekend.

Manly's backline stocks have been stretched with winger Jorge Taufua out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and Trbojevic's return could prove timely for the sixth-placed Sea Eagles.

Before his injury, Trbojevic was considered one of the form fullbacks of the NRL, making 13 linebreaks, the second most in the competition, and averaging 165 metres.

He had earmarked for a debut for NSW in game one and an early return would allow him to push his case for the rest of the series - although it's doubtful the Blues would rush in changes after their series-opening win.

"He's got an aura about him," Manly centre Dylan Walker said.

"When you see him around the dressing room and that he's playing, you know you've got to step up your game a little bit as well."

Meanwhile, Johnathan Thurston has been named on an extended bench for North Queensland as he attempts to prove his fitness ahead of Origin II.

The Cowboys' playmaker has been out since the May 5 Anzac Test due to a shoulder problem, with coach Paul Green naming rookie Kyle Laybutt at five-eighth and Ray Thompson (knee) also scratched.

Under-pressure Canterbury have received a boost with Josh Morris (knee), Josh Reynolds (knee) and James Graham (neck) returning against St George Illawarra.

NSW and Dragons lock Tyson Frizell has been named, however is under an injury cloud after suffering rib cartilage damage.

Likewise, South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds (knee) has also been included in his side's line-up but is in doubt.

Parramatta playmaker Corey Norman (knee) has been named in the No.21 and could take on the Cowboys in Darwin.

Cronulla dummy-half James Segeyaro (broken arm) is also a chance to make his comeback after being included in an extended squad.

And Gold Coast have shifted superstar Jarryd Hayne from centre to fullback.

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