THE Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles could be without halfback Trent Hodkinson for their crunch Queensland Cup clash with the Central Comets at Stockland Park tomorrow.
The Daily understand the 20-year-old playmaker is in line for an NRL call-up for the injury-ravaged Manly.
Manly’s backline has been decimated following injuries to Brett Stewart, David Williams and Chris Bailey.
Bailey is set to undergo x-rays on a suspected broken hand he suffered in Monday night’s loss to the Wests Tigers.
A Manly spokesman confirmed the second rower-turned-centre was in doubt for the clash with the Eels at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon. More would be known following the team’s training run this morning.
If Bailey is forced to withdraw, captain Jamie Lyon could move from five-eighth to centre.
Hodkinson could then form an inexperienced halves combination with New Zealand representative Kieran Foran.
Manly and Sunshine Coast officials were tight-lipped yesterday.
However, they did confirm Hodkinson was on stand-by.
“We’ve got a number of players and options we want to look at first,” the Manly spokesman said.
“We’ll make the decision once we know a bit more today.”
If Hodkinson does receive his NRL debut, Ben Whiddon will likely move from the bench into the Sunshine Coast No.7 role.
Since the local team’s debut in the Queensland Cup last year, the Sea Eagles and the Comets have developed a small rivalry.
The Comets won their inaugural match 34-32, thanks to a last-ditch try orchestrated by then-Bronco Dave Taylor.
The Sunshine Coast responded with a 46-0 demolition of the Rockhampton team. However, the Comets got the last laugh of the season with a 21-14 semi-final win.
Sea Eagles half-back Trent Hodkinson could be called up for higher duties with Manly this weekend.