Benji Marshall on course to face Broncos

Benji Marshall is confident of being fit to play in St George Illawarra's must-win match against Brisbane on Friday night but the Kiwi star will rule himself out if he has any concerns about letting the Dragons down.

Marshall, who – along with star centre Josh Dugan – has been cleared of major ankle ligament damage, thought on Monday he would be forced to miss the match. He was more optimistic on Tuesday.

It is understood scans on Marshall's ankle revealed a tear but the 29-year-old playmaker is making good progress in his recovery and St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor named both him and Dugan in an extended squad to take on the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

With both teams two points outside the top eight, the loser is out and the winner must be triumphant again next week to have any chance of playing in the finals.

Marshall will continue to train under observation from medical staff before the match but he won't risk playing unless he is confident about his fitness.

Meanwhile, South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has resisted the urge to rush captain John Sutton back from a knee injury for Thursday night's match against Canterbury.

With George Burgess returning from suspension, brother Luke moves from the starting team to a six-man interchange.

In other team news, Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has dropped Feleti Mateo to NSW Cup and recalled former New Zealand Test prop Sam Rapira, while centre Dominique Peyroux replaces the injured David Fusitu'a (shoulder) for Sunday's home match against Gold Coast.

Newcastle will welcome back five-eighth Jarrod Mullen from a calf injury, and dual international Timana Tahu will play his first NRL game of the season after being named on the bench.

Elsewhere, Daniel Holdsworth replaces Fa'amanu Brown (knee) at five-eighth in Cronulla's match against North Queensland.

This story Benji Marshall on course to face Broncos first appeared on Brisbane Times.