Clasie ruled out of match

FORMER Rockhampton player Luke Clasie's homecoming has turned into heartbreak after he was yesterday ruled out for this weekend's Australian Rugby Shield match in Rockhampton.

Clasie, now playing for the Ross River Red Skins in the Townsville competition, will miss the Queensland Country Heelers' must-win clash against Adelaide at Rugby Park with a hip injury.

The former Colts lock has made way for Cairns counterpart Jason Harrington to play his first game for the Heelers this season.

Heelers coach Terry Shiells said Classie's injury could force him from the field for two weeks, which will still give him time to prove his fitness should the Heelers make the June 18 final against Perth.

Shiells has also placed Mackay back Matt Yasso on stand-by for exciting Darling Downs winger Billy Bainibure, who is in doubt with a hand injury.

Townsville prop Gil Griffiths has overcome a calf strain, while Darling Downs No.8 James McUtchen will also play, despite breaking his nose in the Heelers' last-round win over Melbourne.

Shiells said the starting side would not be decided until the final training run at Rugby Park today.

Rockhampton inside centre Jamie Blyton and openside flanker Sean Kearns are set to retain their starting spots, while Joel Johnston is expected to come off the bench.

Heelers: (squad) Rod Gordon, Brendan Bunyan, Gil Griffiths, Jason Harrington, Brad Tronc, Daniel Ese, Taofiga Sa, James McUtchen, Christian Lago, Corey Niwa, David Nolan, Matt Yasso/Billy Bainibure, Aaron Davis, Aisea Vasutogo, Shane Collins. Paul Rossi, Jordan Massey, Sean Kearns, Mark Jekyll, Ryan Roberts, Joel Johnston, Jamie Blyton. Coach: Terry Shiells.

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