Matthew Wright will become Cowboy No.242 when he makes his NRL debut for the club in the Monday Night Football clash against the Newcastle Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium tomorrow night.
North Queensland coach Paul Green today confirmed the former Cronulla Shark would replace Kyle Feldt on the right wing in one of two changes to his squad of 17 named on Tuesday.
The other change sees Joel Riethmuller return to the NRL lineup for the first time since round one with Glenn Hall, who played for the Mackay Cutters against Tweed Seagulls on Saturday night, dropping out of the squad as 18th man.
Wright was signed to a one-year contract earlier this year when the Cowboys released Wayne Ulugia following a series of disciplinary breaches.
He’s been playing with the undefeated Northern Pride in the Intrust Super Cup, although he was forced to sit out a week due to a hand injury midway through last month.
After making his NRL debut with Cronulla at the age of 18 in 2009, the now 23-year-old played a total of 62 NRL matches for the Sharks and he also represented Samoa in the Test match against Tonga in 2013.
Wright’s last NRL appearance was in round 16 last season, ironically against the Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium.
“His form has been good and he’s got five games now under his belt in the Q Cup,” Green said of his new winger.
“I think errors have been killing us and Wrighty deserves to get his chance.
“He’s had quite a bit of NRL experience so I’m sure he’ll do a good job for us.
“Kyle was disappointed … but he understands what he needs to improve on.”
Green said the Cowboys had enjoyed a good week of preparation following on from last Monday night’s disappointing performance in a 13-12 loss to the Gold Coast.
They held their final run of the week at the stadium on Sunday morning.
“We just need to hold the ball – it’s pretty simple,” the coach said.
“I think their attention to detail has been better (at training this week).”