Halfback sent to NSW Cup after stuttering start to the NRL season.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has again reached for the selection axe, chopping halfback Luke Walsh in the wake of the side’s disappointing 18-point to the Gold Coast Titans last round.
Cleary, who has shown before he is willing to cut big-name players for the greater good, has recalled utility Blake Austin to the number seven jersey ahead of his side’s clash against the Cowboys.
While Walsh’s attacking game is vital for the Panthers to score points against any side, it’s the options with the ball in hand, which has raised the ire of Cleary.
Cleary has also kept NSW Origin prop Tim Grant on the bench, with Nigel Plum elevated to a start opposite Cowboys monsters James Tamou and Matt Scott.
Grant had to overcome a chest injury to take the field last weekend.
Penrith will take on a North Queensland side desperate to restore some pride and get its early season campaign back on track.
A regular in the finals, the Cowboys have lost three in a row which included heavy defeats at the hands of the Storm and the Knights, before narrowly handing the Warriors their first win of the season in round four.
Kalifa Faifai Loa retains his wing spot for the Cowboys, with Ashley Graham (ribs, indefinite) out, while Tariq Sims and Rory Kostjasyn have again been named ahead of Ashton Sims and Anthony Mitchell as per late changes last week.
Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Kalifa Fai Fai Loa, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan, Matthew Scott, Scott Moore, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Tariq Sims, Scott Bolton, Jason Taumalolo
Panthers: Dean Whare, Josh Mansour, Wes Naiqama, Brad Tighe, David Simmons, Tom Humble, Blake Austin, Sam McKendry, Kevin Kingston, Nigel Plum, Sika Manu, Lewis Brown, Cameron Ciraldo. Interchange: Adam Docker, Tim Grant, James Segeyaro, Clint Newton