New contract means a new start for Broncos utility Ben Hunt

Ben Hunt
Ben Hunt Contributed

IT MAY be coincidental, but in the same week Ben Hunt re-signed with the Broncos until the end of 2015 he has been selected in the starting side for the first time since round 25 last year.

The 23-year-old utility joined the Broncos from school and was named NYC Player of the Year in 2008, the first season of the national youth competition.

He has since made 73 NRL appearances, 59 from the interchange bench.

As expected, Hunt replaces injured five-eighth Scott Prince in the Broncos starting side for Friday night's Suncorp Stadium local derby against the Titans.

Prop Ben Hannant is also sidelined, and has been replaced in the starting side by Josh McGuire.

Scott Anderson, Mitchell Dodds and Jarrod Wallace are the new faces on a five-man bench.

A former Broncos scholarship holder, Will Zillman, fronts for his 100th NRL appearance for the Titans in the match, and becomes the seventh Titans player to reach that milestone in seven years.

Titans coach John Cartwright has named an unchanged line-up from last weekend but has added Matt Srama and Mark Ioane to his bench.

Controversial new recruit Josh Dugan will debut for the Dragons in a jersey sporting the pink V rather than the famous red V during the Women in League round.

Dugan has been selected at fullback for the clash with the Eels in the early Saturday evening clash at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.

Veteran centre Matt Cooper returns for the Dragons.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett has wielded the axe as a result of the 44-14 flogging at the hands of the Raiders last weekend.

Dropped for their home match against the Bulldogs on Sunday are veterans Timana Tahu and Chris Houston, while skipper Kurt Gidley is back at hooker.

BJ Leilua is the new centre, David Fa'alogo starts in the back row and Neville Costigan has been recalled to the bench.

Feleti Mateo plays his 150th NRL match for the Warriors against the Panthers at Centrebet Stadium on Saturday night, with the return of prop Steve Rapira only change to the Warriors.

Penrith, unchanged after its upset win over the Storm last weekend, is one of several clubs believed to be chasing the signature of Mateo for 2014 onwards.

Both the Sharks and Raiders are also unchanged for their clash at Shark Park on Sunday, the Cowboys have added Jason Taumalolo to their squad for the Roosters in Townsville on Saturday night and Storm coach Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged squad of 18 for their Monday night blockbuster against the Sea Eagles who will be without Jason King.

Topics:  ben hunt brisbane broncos josh dugan nrl rugby league st george illawarra dragons

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