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Three Cowboys yet to make their NYC debut for North Queensland have been included in coach Todd Payten’s starting team for the opening pre-season trial against the Mackay Cutters on Saturday evening.

The new faces are Junior Kiwis representative Braden Uele in the front-row, hooker Brandon Smith and winger Sam Smith, while their another five players –  Cyrus Timo-Latu, Ross Bella, Taha Tutavake, Trey Kemp and Nick Brown – are on the bench in the 22-man lineup who have yet to play in the under-20s.

Uele came to the Cowboys from the Roosters at the end of last season and has spent time training with Paul Green’s NRL squad during the pre-season, while the two Smiths, who are unrelated, are in their second seasons with the NQ under-20s.

Sam hails from Gladstone Valleys and played in the Townsville Stingers’ national title-winning under-18 squad in 2014, while Brandon came to Townsville from New Zealand and has been playing for Centrals.

Saturday’s clash will be a return home for Bella, who has already played Intrust Super Cup matches for the Cutters.

Second-rower Kieran Quabba will captain the Cowboys and will be part of a strong forward pack that includes 18-year-old Coen Hess, who played for NQ in the NRL Auckland Nines at the weekend.

Saturday’s match will be played over four 20-minute quarters with unlimited interchange and will kick off at 4.30pm.

NYC Cowboys v Mackay Cutters TRIAL MATCH
4.30pm, Saturday 7 February, Stadium Mackay

1 Yamba Bowie
2 Sam Smith
3 Akeripa Tia Kilifi
4 Conor Carey
5 Scott Schulte
6 Ty Carucci
7 Cooper Bambling
8 Braden Uele
9 Brandon Smith
10 Viliame Kikau
11 Kieran Quabba (c)
12 Coen Hess
13 Andrew Niemoeller

14 Cyrus Timo-Latu
15 Jordan Kenworthy
16 David Munro
17 Ross Bella
18 Taha Tutavake
19 Rainer Power
20 Trey Kemp
21 Nick Brown
22 Delayne Ashby

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.