PAUL Green's announcement of a depleted side for Saturday's trial is not a surprise, but I did expect at least a few more top names from North Queensland.
I completely understand the club's preference to focus on the Auckland Nines, but after Bundaberg Rugby League chairman Mike Ireland said Johnathan Thurston would "definitely" be there I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
When ticket prices were revealed I defended the BRL's decision-making based on their ability to bring the grand final rematch to Bundaberg, the costs of the event and Ireland's guarantee Thurston would be involved.
Ireland said he understood Cowboys fans were disappointed, but the "BRL doesn't control what sides are picked".
As a fan, I am disappointed Thurston is not involved, but the BRL should never have promised his presence.
Thankfully Brisbane named a gun side, featuring the likes of exciting five-eighth Anthony Milford, veteran lock Corey Parker and the hottest centre in the NRL, James Roberts.
The fact it is Roberts' first Broncos game makes the trial even more tantalising.
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