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New Cowboys assistant coach David Furner admits he had a bit of a chuckle to himself when the NRL draw for 2014 was released. It threw up North Queensland against his old club Canberra as a first-round encounter at 1300SMILES Stadium. Furner was sitting next to current Raider and Kangaroos forward Josh Papalii on their way home from the Rugby League World Cup when the draw was announced and was quick to let him know what was ahead in the season opener.

The Cowboys NYC squad are set to take on our two Intrust Super Cup affiliates in pre-season trials. Todd Wilsons team are scheduled to take on the Northern Pride in Cairns on the weekend of 1-2 February followed by the reigning ISC premiers Mackay at Virgin Australia Stadium a week later.

Three Cowboys are involved in a hairy bet that shows no signs of being resolved. Not long after last season ended, good mates Robert Lui and Ray Thompson joined with Rory Kostjasyn in a challenge to grow their hair with the loser being the one who gets a trim first. Several weeks on and no-one has come close to grabbing the clippers or scissors. The bet may roll on into the new year.

Happy birthday wishes go to James Tamou who turns 25 on Friday. The Test and Origin prop is enjoying spending some quality time with young son Brooklyn.

Here's a shout-out to Cowboys member Marty Westcott, who created the Christmas tribute in our main photo great job, Marty.

The Cowboys will change up their training venue next Tuesday afternoon to train in front of the youngsters taking part in the QRLs annual summer camp at James Cook University.

Terry Mattersons efforts with the US Tomahawks in the Rugby League World Cup saw him named as the coach of the tournament by English newspaper The Independent. The papers rugby league correspondent Dave Hadfield gave his player of the year award to Johnathan Thurston.

Dallas Johnson will return to the Tablelands to be a special guest at the launch of a new book "History of the Eacham JRL 19691999 - the First Thirty Years" in Atherton on Saturday. The event, which doubles as a reunion for past and present players and supporters, will take place at Merriland Hall with doors opening at 5.30pm and the launch at 7pm. Food and refreshments will be on sale, as will the book at $49.95.

The Mackay Cutters Intrust Super Cup coach Kim Williams has been a welcome guest at Cowboys HQ to meet up with coach Paul Green and his coaching staff this week. "We just need to be reasonably consistent with what they're doing up there, so the transition of players back to us is pretty easy and hopefully the transition the other way, as well, is easy," Williams told the Mackay Daily Mercury. "One of our goals is to produce players to go to the NRL and our preference is that they're at the Cowboys and whenever that's possible, that will happen."

Broncos skipper Sam Thaiday is Johnathan Thurstons roommate in representative camps. Heres what he had to say about being with our co-captain for most of the past two months: His laugh makes anyone laugh. Hes very cheeky and I have been very lucky to have him as a roommate because we have kept each other sane.
Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.