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Michael Morgan admits he was a little bit awestruck when he met one of the superstars of world tennis, Ana Ivanovic, at Brisbane Airport on Sunday. The two sporting stars were heading in different directions – Morgo back to Townsville after being part of the Queensland Emerging Origin camp and the glamorous Ana to Sydney after finshing as runner-up in the Brisbane International. After originally just taking a “selfie” with the Serbian in the background, our fullback nervously went up and asked to get a much better picture which he proudly posted on Instagram. “You can see from the pic how nervous I was,” Morgo said.

• Playing the best footy of his career at age 29, Gavin Cooper was a first-timer at the Emerging Origin camp which is a pathway to the Maroons’ top 17. “It’s a good little pat on the back I suppose,” Coops told QRL TV. “I’m in the back of some people’s minds (for Origin selection) which is great. I think the camp idea has been a proven success. It really shows there is reward for playing well.” Coops wasn’t the oldest player at the two-day camp – Manly’s Brenton Lawrence is eight months older.

• There was a Virgin flight from Brisbane to Townsville that was full of Hannants on Sunday. New Cowboy Ben Hannant is now very happy to have his wife Emma and five kids with him at their new NQ residence after completing their relocation from the Gold Coast.

• There’ll be free admission for North Queensland’s pre-season trial against the Townsville Blackhawks at Brothers Leagues Club on Saturday 14 February. The Cowboys’ squad will be a mixture of NRL and NYC players, while the Blackhawks are likely to field a near full-strength team featuring a number of former Cowboys. Kick off will be at 6pm.

• The photo shoot for the Cowboys’ team poster took place at Cowboys HQ on Monday with all 32 NRL squad members pulling on our new playing kit for the first time. You’ll be able to pick up a copy of the poster at the Community Day at Townsville RSL Stadium on Sunday 15 February and at the members/public events we’ll be holding ahead of the pre-season trials in Mackay and Cairns.

• Not only did Justin O’Neill sign a contract with the Cowboys just before Christmas, he also became engaged to partner Chantelle in Fiji. Congrats!

• A few Cowboys celebrated birthdays while the Insider was enjoying a Christmas-New Year break. Belated “happy birthdays” go to Michael Morgan who turned 23 on 27 December, Ben Hannant who hit 30 on New Year’s Eve, Hezron Murgha who celebrated his 29th birthday on New Year’s Eve and Kane Linnett who turned 26 on Sunday.

• The Cowboys have submitted their NRL Auckland Nines squad to the NRL which needs to verify that the defending champions have met the requirements regarding the standard of players they are planning to send to the two-day tournament. Once that process is complete, the squad will be revealed to our members and fans.

• The round four NYC clash against the Melbourne Storm is set to be moved from Monday afternoon, 30 March to be the main curtain-raiser for the Townsville Blackhawks’ Intrust Super Cup clash with the CQ Capras at Brothers Leagues Club two days earlier. The move should allow more of our members and fans to see the game, create a great double-header for the Blackhawks to promote and ensure our under-20s don’t miss a day of work or study. Kick off will be at 4pm on Saturday 28 March.

Lachlan Coote features in the first edition of Rugby League Week for 2015, available in newsagents now.

• The Cowboys are back training on 1300SMILES Stadium after being based at the Townsville Sports Reserve for almost all of their on-field work prior to Christmas.

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.