Cowboys INSIDER

• It’s a huge week for birthdays in North Queensland’s NRL squad with four of our players celebrating this week. Curtis Rona turned 22 on Monday, Anthony Mitchell celebrated his 25th birthday on Tuesday and both Jason Taumalolo (21) and Antonio Winterstein (26) have their birthdays on Friday.

• Kyle Feldt revealed how much he loves North Queensland after extending his Cowboys contract for another three years on Monday. “It’s always good to stay at home and I think I’ve played my best footy at home, and I’m in front of my family,” the winger said. “Because I’m from here was another big part (of re-signing). I didn’t want to leave; I always wanted to be a Cowboy.”

• Robert Lui was the back-up goalkicker for Johnathan Thurston when the co-captain was on State of Origin duties in 2013, but this year he’s only third in line. Ethan Lowe showed his proficiency with the boot by kicking two from two, including one from the sideline, against the Raiders in Canberra on Sunday afternoon. Michael Morgan, who also struck the ball nicely in the final training session on Saturday, will fill in for Lowe if the back-rower is off the field in the next match that JT misses.

• Our stats leaders from the loss against the Raiders were: most metres – Scott Bolton (143m); most tackles – Ethan Lowe (37); most tackle busts – Ethan Lowe (7); most hit-ups – Ashton Sims (15).

• This Saturday night’s home clash with Melbourne will be the Cowboys’ last at 1300SMILES Stadium until we face South Sydney on Saturday night, 28 June. We’re entering a run where North Queensland have five of their next seven matches away from home with a couple of bye rounds thrown in as well.

• NYC squad member Jordan Kenworthy was named player of the carnival at the Queensland open schoolboys championships in Mackay at the weekend. Jordan was part of the North Queensland team that won the State title, beating South Coast 40-16 in the final. Five contracted Cowboys – Kenworthy, Kurt De Luis (who was man-of-the-match in the final), Regan Grieve, Gideon Mosby-Gela and Kalyn Ponga – were selected in the Queensland squad.

• Glenn Hall will be in the Hot FM Townsville studio with Ashton Sims on Wednesday morning. You can hear them on the Cliffo and Tianna breakfast show after 7am.

• See what trick shot Rory Kostjasyn has to offer on the WIN News Locker Room in tonight’s bulletin. It will be on air around 7.15pm.

• Have the Cowboys NYC squad found a lucky charm? Mark Henry travelled with the team as their yellow trainer for the first time at the weekend and the Cowboys produced an all-the-way victory against Canberra.

• Congratulations to Mark “Bam Bam” Flanagan who won the Australian cruiserweight championship at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre on Saturday night. A big Cowboys fan, Mark has been a regular in the Cowboys gym working on his fitness with our game development manager Ryan Mahoney leading up to his big fight.

• The Cowboys Leagues Club will be giving away special State of Origin hampers during all three matches in the 2014 series, starting on Wednesday night. Members and guests will be able to watch the action on their choice of three big screens and drinks will be at happy hour prices for the duration of each game.

• Longreach is getting ready to welcome the Queensland State of Origin team on Tuesday 10 June. The Origin Fan Day RSL Longreach Gala Luncheon will be held at the Longreach Civic Centre from 11.30am. Tickets must be pre-purchased and are available from Sally Graham on 0427 589 117 and cost $80 per person and include a two-course meal and drinks, guest speakers, raffle and auction.

• The Cowboys are currently sixth favourites to win the 2014 NRL premiership with bookmakers bet365. We’re listed as a $13 chance with the Roosters the favourites at $5, ahead of Manly ($5.50).