Injury blows for Magpies
By TONY WHITE
LOWER Clarence have been forced to make several changes for the important match against Kyogle at New Park, Kyogle, tomorrow.
Magpies captain-coach Jason Wilkinson, who came off midway through the first half against Grafton Ghosts, has been diagnosed with a dislodged collarbone, rib cartilage and rib damage after a tackle that went wrong at Maclean Showground.
"It's an injury that just needs rest," Wilkinson said. "I'm definitely out this week and maybe another week or two."
Winger Ben McDonald suffered a broken hand before the Ghosts match and remains out and centre Ken Mercy has work commitments this weekend. Grant Brown comes in at fullback, Dane Walker switching to wing, and Scott Laurie replaces Mercy in the centres.
Dave Purcell has been brought in at halfback while Wilkinson recovers.
LOWER CLARENCE: Fullback, Grant Brown; wingers, Dane Walker, Boe Hayne; centres, Daniel Battersby, Scott Laurie; five-eighth, Aaron Murray (c); halfback, Dave Purcell; props, Wayne Reed, Mick Harris; hooker, Ben Gillespie; second-row, Ryan Binge, Tom Freebody; lock, Daniel Cowling; bench, Nathan Kelly. Coach: Jason Wilkinson.
KYOGLE: Fullback, Athol Williams or Shannon Walker; wingers, Ben Mulcahy, Zeke Walker; centres, Garnett Donnelly, Rod Graham; five-eighth, Walter Donnelly; half, Boyd Walker; props, Dave Mulcahy (c), Inia Kidwell; hooker, Simon Pedersen; second-rowers, Steve Lamont, Scott Lavelle; lock, Don Walker; bench: Ryan Daley. Coach: Wayne Lollback.
GRAFTON take on powerful Marist Brothers at Frank McGuren Park tomorrow with an altered backline.
Speedy Warwick Brown and Peter Young are the new centre pairing; Trent Lawrence moves from five-eighth to half and Andy Bell from half to five-eighth.
Centre Travis Daley is unavailable.
The addition of Brown to the centres should add some spark to the attack.
Big news from the Brethren camp is winger Niko Vakararawa is out for six weeks with a broken thumb.
Brothers have five players on representative duty and will have a fitness check tomorrow morning before deciding on their final line up.
Prop Kevin Walker has moved into the second row with Des Maher up to prop and David Krause from second-row to lock with Luke Campbell on the bench.