Broncos lose Lodge for Raiders clash

Matt Lodge will miss Brisbane's clash with Canberra because of a throat injury.
Matt Lodge will miss Brisbane's clash with Canberra because of a throat injury.

Brisbane's forward pack has taken another hit with prop Matt Lodge ruled out of Sunday's NRL clash with Canberra with a throat injury.

Lodge wasn't named in the Broncos' extended squad on Tuesday after he copped a knock in last week's loss to the Wests Tigers.

The 23-year-old's injury is not considered a long-term concern but he wore a non-contact bib in training earlier this week.

It comes as an extra blow to the struggling Broncos, with lock Tevita Pangai Junior still out for another week through suspension.

Payne Haas will move to prop in only his second game back from a club-enforced ban, while 19-year-old David Fifita will be asked to start at lock.

Brisbane risk going 1-5 in Canberra for just just the second time in their history with a loss to a Raiders side missing Joe Tapine (ankle).

NSW State of Origin centre James Roberts has again been named on an extended bench, but is not expected to play as the Broncos take a cautious approach with his Achilles injury.

"You don't push them sort of injuries ... if you do it properly you're out for a long time," Broncos winger Corey Oates said.

"It's up to him (when he returns) but it'd be good to have him back as soon as possible. He's got unbelievable talent."

Fellow Queensland stragglers Gold Coast will also be without Alexander Brimson for three weeks with a broken thumb.

In better news for the Titans, Shannon Boyd will return from hamstring soreness in place of suspended prop Jarrod Wallace against Newcastle.

Meanwhile Cronulla remain hopeful Andrew Fifita could overcome a hamstring strain to face Penrith on Thursday night.

The Sharks originally feared the worst for Fifita following Saturday's loss to the Sydney Roosters, but he has now been named alongside returning captain Paul Gallen (ribs).

Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is also poised to return from a rib injury, but Brett Morris (knee) won't be back in time for Friday's grand final rematch with Melbourne.

Parramatta have also received a boost, with Blake Ferguson named on the wing for the Easter Monday Bankwest Stadium opener against the Wests Tigers.

Ferguson suffered injuries to both his ribs and nose in last week's loss to Canberra but is still considered a chance to play.

Elsewhere, former Queensland Origin centre Justin O'Neill will replace the injured Nene Macdonald at the Cowboys, where Scott Bolton also returns from his NRL-imposed ban against the Warriors.

The Warriors have named playmaker Blake Green for the Auckland clash after he missed last week's loss to South Sydney through a groin injury.

Australian Associated Press