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Representative front-rower James Tamou will be part of the Toyota Cowboys’ travelling party for their upcoming two-game away trip, even though he hasn’t been named to face Penrith for Monday Night Football in round 23.

In a change to their usual strategy of returning to Townsville the day after each away match, the Cowboys have opted to remain in Sydney before confronting competition favourites Souths at ANZ Stadium, five days after meeting the Panthers at Sportingbet Stadium.

“They’re two big games. Penrith and Souths are both sitting high up there in the top three so we want to give ourselves the best preparation possible,” coach Paul Green said.

“We felt that spending two days flying and travelling would be better spent down there firstly recovering from Monday night’s game and starting our preparation as early as we can to play Souths on the Saturday.”

Sidelined since round 20 when he aggravated a neck problem against Canterbury, Tamou is a possibility of playing in both matches, but no decision will be made on his availability until later in the week.

“He’s coming along, he’s improving,” Green said of his front-rower, who is trying to regain full power in his arm.

“It’s a bit slower than what we would have liked but he’s a chance (of playing this week).

“We’ll just see how he goes through the week again.

“If he’s fit, I’m certainly going to play him.”

Green said whether any extra players would be added to the travelling squad ahead of the Souths game would be assessed once the Panthers match is complete.

“We’ve budgeted for flying a couple of guys down to do a bit of training through that week,” he said.

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.