Matt Gillett
Matt Gillett Jonathan Wood / Getty Images

Gillett still can't cut it at Broncos

IN THE past five weeks, Matt Gillett has played for his state and been named 18th man for his country, but the dynamic back-rower still cannot make it into the Broncos starting side despite three successive losses.

Coach Anthony Griffin conceded last week's 34-10 loss to Melbourne was the club's worst performance of the season, but Gillett was again selected on the bench for Sunday's vital Suncorp Stadium clash against Newcastle.

"We came up with a horrible performance tonight. I thought we were very poor and didn't have any real ethic about our attack or defence," Griffin said after the loss.

Gillett and Ben Hannant backed up from Origin I and were among the Broncos' best.

Despite an 80m chase by Gillett on Storm speedster Justin O'Neill being one rare sign of work ethic from the Broncos, Gillett again finds himself wearing the No.16 jersey.

Captain Sam Thaiday and fellow Origin players Petero Civoniceva and Justin Hodges return for the Broncos, and 22-year-old Dunamis Lui has been preferred on the bench to Ben Te'o.

Coach Wayne Bennett has also opted for only minor changes to the Knights' line-up for his return to Brisbane, despite rating their loss to the Titans last weekend as their most disappointing performance of 2012.

Bennett has altered only his bench, adding Richie Fa'aoso and Chris Adams for Zeb Taia and Matt Hilder.

New signing Dane Gagai, from the Broncos, missed selection the trip back home despite speculation he might debut against the club that sacked him three weeks ago.

For the Queensland derby at Gold Coast's Skilled Park, both the Titans and Cowboys have named unchanged sides. This is Channel 9's feature match for Queensland viewers on Friday night.

Dean Whare will play his third backline position of the season, as cover for the suspended Steve Matai, when the Sea Eagles take on the Dragons in Saturday's blockbuster at Brookvale Oval.

Kieran Foran has been named to return at five-eighth, with Michael Oldfield on the wing for Whare.

Nathan Fein back on the bench is the most significant change for the Dragons, although Blues prop Trent Merrin will start.

Jeremy Latimore has been relegated to the bench.

In other selection news, suspended Raiders players Josh Dugan (five-eighth) and Blake Ferguson (centre) return for the Raiders in unfamiliar positions, Ben Roberts replaces the injured Casey McGuire as Eels five-eighth, Matt King is back for the Rabbitohs, and Origin players Paul Gallen and Todd Carney return for the Sharks.

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