North Queensland will be hurting from last week's derby loss to the Broncos, which also saw them lose Scott Drinkwater (three games) and Peta Hiku (two matches) to suspension.
The Warriors meanwhile were left to rue poor execution in the final quarter of their 20-12 loss to the Roosters on Saturday, after they had battled on valiantly in the face of losing Jackson Ford (head knock), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (head knock) and Josh Curran (hip).
The Warriors were one of the six clubs who tasted victory against the Cowboys last year when they beat them in a 'home' game at Kayo Stadium in Round 5, but they haven't won in either of their two visits to Queensland Country Back Stadium so far.
The two clubs have been well matched in recent years, with each winning three times in their six meetings over the past four seasons, which included splitting the head-to-head record in 2022.
Cowboys: A couple of forced changes due to suspension with Tom Chester coming in at fullback for his second NRL game in place of Scott Drinkwater while Gehamat Shibasaki replaces Peta Hiku in the centres. Taniela Sadrugu, Riley Price and Mitchell Dunn were omitted on Friday when the squad was trimmed to 19. Heilum Luki is 18th man. Taniela Sadrugu, Riley Price and Mitchell Dunn were omitted on Friday when the squad was trimmed to 19.
Warriors: Josh Curran (hip pointer) dropped out on Friday, his place taken by Jazz Tevaga in his first game of the season having recovered from a hernia. The absence of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (concussion) sees Taine Tuaupiki make his NRL debut at fullback after two strong showings in NSW Cup. Back-rower Jackson Ford will also miss the game after copping a head knock last week so Bunty Afoa moves into the starting side and Bayley Sironen joins the bench. Skipper Tohu Harris plays his 200th NRL game.
Story first published by: NRL.com