Monday 12 November 2012 4:37 PM
All the inside news from the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys...
• We’re happy to report that co-captain Johnathan Thurston has made it back to North Queensland after being one of the thousands of airline passengers left stranded in New York City by Hurricane Sandy. The extra week that JT and partner Samantha spent on their overseas holiday meant they were able to see a few extra sights they hadn’t caught before the storm struck. One of the bonus attractions was the chance to see the New York Knicks take on defending champions Miami Heat in an NBA match at famous Madison Square Garden. They also caught some tennis masters action featuring Pat Rafter, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi.
• JT’s delayed flight from New York prevented him from meeting Prince Charles at Bondi Beach on Friday. He was meant to take part in the game of touch on the beach that involved fellow NRL indigenous stars Greg Inglis, Willie Tonga and Greg Bird.
• New signing Scott Moore was able to introduce himself to JT before making it to Townsville last Friday. The Englishman was waiting for the last leg of his long journey from Manchester when he saw the champion five-eighth also waiting for a flight at Brisbane Airport.
• Front-rower Ashton Sims says he’s had a good rest and can’t wait for the official start of pre-season training on Monday. “It was good to get away over the off-season and get over some niggles,” Sims said. “I had my knee cleaned out which was good to get done. Now we’re ready to go again.” The Cowboys’ new recruits and the players stepping up to the NRL from the Toyota Cup squad in 2012 start their weights and conditioning training this week.
• The six years that Clint Greenshields spent with the Catalan Dragons in Super League allowed him to become quite proficient at speaking French. His media conference at Cowboys HQ last week was the first he had conducted in English in quite some time.
• Former Cowboy and current Northern Pride CEO Chris Sheppard had a win on Melbourne Cup Day at the race meeting held at Cluden Park in Townsville. Judicial, the horse he co-owns with brother Steve, won the fourth race at $3.50 odds. Unfortunately no-one in the Cowboys marquee was clever enough to back it.
• The 2013 Cowboys NYC squad had their official induction day on Sunday to make sure they were up to speed with everything expected of them in the coming season. Each squad member received their players handbook for the season which includes all the important off-field information they need to know as well as some of the set plays coach Todd Wilson has devised for 2013. Induction day finished with player parents joining their sons and Cowboys staff for a luncheon.
• With pre-season about to begin, the Cowboys are sitting as equal fifth favourites for the 2013 premiership with bookmakers Centrebet. We’re rated as $12 chances with Melbourne the favourites at $5.50 and Penrith the outsiders at $34.
• Assistant coaches Peter Ryan and Terry Matterson will be among the guest speakers at the Men of League Townsville AGM and Knock On Club at Brothers Leagues Club on Friday. Admission is $10 which includes drinks and a sausage sizzle. The function gets underway at 5pm and will also include appearances by Men of League Foundation national board member Steve Calder and Queensland president Darryl Van de Vde.
• Don’t forget the NRL draw for 2013 will be released later in the week. We’ll have all the details of who, where and when North Queensland will be playing on www.cowboys.com.au.