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Still on a high from the Cowboys’ NRL Auckland Nines win, Ray Thompson says he will continue to do everything he can to secure North Queensland’s No.9 jersey for round one against Canberra.

Thompson is one of two dummy-half options in the 20-man squad that coach Paul Green has named for Saturday night’s trial against Gold Coast at Clive Berghofer Oval in Toowoomba.

He faces an individual duel with Cameron King to earn the starting spot with Anthony Mitchell missing out on the final trial after playing on the second day of the Nines triumph.

Rory Kostjasyn, who is sidelined with a foot ligament injury, is another contender who won’t get a final audition this weekend.

“I’m still working extremely hard and still trying to do everything I can to keep that No.9 jersey,” Thompson said today.

“We’ll see how I go this weekend and then it’s up to Greeny.

“I’ll be doing everything in my power to hopefully keep that jersey.”

Thompson had become North Queensland’s permanent No.9 in the second half of last season until a double fracture to the jaw forced him out of his team’s last four games and led to Kostjasyn taking over in the starting 13.

Since then, hooker options Scott Moore and Jayden Hodges have moved on, with King added from St George Illawarra.

“I can’t let them get an opportunity, because if I do they won’t let it go,” Thompson said of NQ’s friendly battle to be the first-choice No.9.

“I have to keep working hard and not get complacent.

“I don’t think I’m owed anything.”

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.