Opposition squad: Thurston's Cowboys name fresh spine

North Queensland have named their NRL Round 20 team to face the nib Newcastle Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday.

Young half Jake Clifford has retained his place in the halves alongside Johnathan Thurston, while Te Maire Martin has been named at fullback.

Both Jordan McLean and Matt Scott are edging closer to return after long injury lay-offs and have been included on an extended bench.

ROUND 20 SQUAD: PONGA AND MATA'UTIA RETURN TO FACE COWBOYS

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TEAM

1. Te Maire Martin
2. Kyle Feldt
3. Enari Tuala
4. Kane Linnett
5. Justin O'Neill
6. Jake Clifford
7. Johnathan Thurston (C)
8. John Asiata
9. Jake Granville
10. Scott Bolton
11. Gavin Cooper
12. Coen Hess
13. Jason Taumalolo

14. Ben Hampton
15. Shaun Fensom
16. Mitchell Dunn
17. Corey Jensen

18. Matt Scott
19. Ethan Lowe
20. Francis Molo
21. Jordan McLean

Friday, July 27 – Round 20

North Queensland Cowboys v Newcastle Knights
Kick-off: 6pm
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium