Brisbane is reeling from the double blow of losing classy centres Brent Tate and Justin Hodges for Friday night's NRL clash with the Sydney Roosters at Aussie Stadium.
Tate was aiming to return after missing the first five rounds following ankle surgery, but he was ruled out with an Achilles tendon problem.
Hodges has been Brisbane's best player this season and was shattered to miss the chance beat his former club and coach when he was forced to quit training as his ankle blew up.
Brisbane rushed 21-year-old Rockhampton product Ian Lacey into the 17-man squad which flew to Sydney, joining former schoolboy star Greg Eastwood who had been called in to replace Tate.
Coach Wayne Bennett could now play veteran lock Tonie Carroll in the centres where he carved out his reputation before moving into the forwards.
Eastwood, a 102kg scrum utility, could play lock or even centre.
Lacey, a halfback who can play five-eighth or even hooker, has been with the Broncos since leaving high school five years ago and he trained with the side all week.
The loss of Tate and Hodges is a setback in a clash between two recent NRL superpower clubs which have both made 3-2 starts this season and have been hit by injury.
Roosters coach Ricky Stuart is without captain and Kangaroo forward Craig Fitzgibbon (ankle), English enforcer Adrian Morley (wrist) and strike centre Ryan Cross (ankle) who between them boast more than 400 NRL games.
Brisbane has spent the week settling in halfback Shane Perry who replaces regular No.7 Brett Seymour, dropped to the Queensland Cup to regain form and confidence.
Perry returns after being a surprise starter in the opening game of the season against North Queensland when Seymour came back from off-season shoulder surgery short on confidence. He played the first half of the 36-4 loss before Seymour finished off the game.
Test prop Petero Civoniceva gave Perry, who played some NRL with the Bulldogs, a vote of confidence saying the 28-year-old was responsible for much of Redcliffe's recent Queensland Cup success.
"We've had a great week at training and the boys feel really comfortable with him," said Civoniceva.
"He's directed us around the field well all week.
"People think he's new to the game but he's been around a long time.
"He's tough, he's had his experience in Sydney and he's got a good football head on his shoulders."
The Roosters have their own problems with forced changes.
Youngsters David Shillington and former South Sydney big man Glenn Hall take over as starting props while debutant Steve Meredith joins Anthony Tupou in the Roosters' second row in a pack missing some muscle and its best workhorse.
Civoniceva predicted Stuart would have his inexperienced injury replacements primed for battle.
After recently being ambushed by a St George Illawarra side missing Test props Luke Bailey and Jason Ryles, Civoniceva says the Broncos would be on their guard.
"Losing two senior players from any pack has to be a blow.
"Adrian is a fantastic forward leader as is Craig Fitzgibbon, it's a big loss because they're also senior players," he said.
"I've got no doubt Ricky will have those new guys pumped. They'll want to prove a point tomorrow night after being given chance on a big stage."