Toyota Cowboys coach Paul Green says the return of Tariq Sims from suspension has given him the option to use Jason Taumalolo in a possibly more damaging bench role against the Newcastle Knights on Monday night.
After serving a two-week suspension, Sims has been selected in the back-row for North Queensland in round 15 with Scott Bolton to continue in the No.13 jersey that the Fijian international held before he was outed on a grade two dangerous throw charge.
Taumalolo will start on the bench for only the second time this season.
“I think we’ll probably get better quality out of Jase playing less than a full game,” Green said today.
“It’s a big ask for him to play 80 minutes week-in week-out.
“This year, he’s been coming to terms with that.
“This gives me the luxury of being able to share that position between both Tariq and Jase.”
Sims’s job before his suspension was concentrated on the middle third of the field for the Cowboys, a role he hadn’t been accustomed to prior to this season.
However, with Bolton doing well there in his absence, he will switch back to attacking and defending on one side for the Cowboys – at least for the opening period of the round 15 clash.
“Tariq likes playing out there (as an edge back-rower) and I don’t think being out for a couple of weeks will worry him fitness-wise,” Green said.
“He’s certainly been training hard while he hasn’t been playing.
“He’ll probably get a bit of time in both positions.”
Coming off a round 14 bye, the Cowboys held their first on-field training session since last Wednesday in wet conditions at Brothers in Townsville this afternoon.
“It’s a long, hard year and we needed a bit of a freshen up I think. Hopefully the bye will be a good thing for us,” the coach said.