Cowboys INSIDER

INJURED 'odd couple' Matt Scott and Shaun Hudson continue to do the hard graft away from the spotlight as they work through their rehab back from serious knee injuries. Both men tore their ACLs weeks apart early in the year and both are well into straight-line running under the watchful eye of the club’s rehab coach Ash Graham. Scott, a 109kg prop forward, always has his work cut out for him in matching Hudson, a centre at 92kg, during running drills. But it didn’t escape notice from Scott that fellow veteran Antonio Winterstein briefly joined him and Hudson in running drills. Winterstein was returning from a minor calf complaint which forced him to miss the Round 20 win over the Warriors. Scott said he loved having Winterstein join him at rehab as he could 'beat' the nuggetty outside back in running drills. “Tones is a power athlete, not an endurance one,” Scott quipped at a mid-week press conference.

ALSO back running is the third in the Cowboys’ ACL brigade Josh Chudleigh. Chudleigh sustained his injury late in the 2016 during a pre-season training session, but complications from surgery have stymied his progress. Now back to tracking in the right direction, Chudleigh – the reigning Queensland Cup Player of the Year – has started modified running and, like Scott and Hudson, hopes to be back playing in 2018.

ANOTHER of the club’s long-term injured squad is Ben Spina, the rugged forward recovering from surgery on a torn bicep. Spina, a notoriously busy chap off the field as well as on it, has not been idle while regaining strength in his arm. Word has it that Spina is now the proud new owner of a very impressive veggie garden at home and his Instagram followers can be treated to a couple of 'made from scratch' creations … namely a boat trailer and a coffee table. Well done Speens!

CHANNEL Nine and Fox Sports are both valued broadcast partners of the NRL, with Fox this year launching their 24-hour dedicated channel, Fox League. With the new channel comes new shows, one of those being Queenslanders Only, whose focus each week is on, unsurprisingly, all things north of the border. Adding more choice for Queensland rugby league fans, Channel Nine's Footy Qld will also premiere at 1pm this Sunday, featuring our very own Cowboys and Maroons legend Brent Tate.

TATE, a valued member of the club’s commercial team, also dabbles in commentary and game analysis, which he is usually very good at. But the great man himself got the verbal fumbles this week while filming a sponsored segment for the Cowboys website. Tatey’s Tips for Round 22 took an age to lay down, with the former Origin flyer’s self-appointed moniker of "One-Take Tate" not really standing up to scrutiny this time around.

SEVERAL players found themselves in a bit of an awkward situation this week while posing for an NRL photo shoot. Asked to stand in a variety of poses, the boys complied, but a few eyebrows were raised when the photographer wanted them to recreate try celebrations. The boys persevered and the league got their desired photos. Cowboys Insider has seen some of the pics and they look amazing, and will be rolled out in upcoming NRL advertising and marketing campaigns.   

NORTH-WEST Queensland, the Cowboys membership and merch van is coming your way next week on the road to the Mount Isa rodeo, 11-13 August, with stops in Charters Towers, Hughenden, Richmond and Julia Creek. Check out the club's Facebook page @nqcowboys for details. As a special treat, Matt Scott will be at Bell and Moir Toyota in Mount Isa on Thursday 10 August from 10am-2pm – see you there!

CONGRATULATIONS to the Cowboys Leagues Club, named People’s Choice Best Restaurant in North Queensland at the 2017 Savour Australia™ Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence for the second year running! Head along to the club in Flinders Mall for an award-winning experience!

IT was all about Try for 5! this week, with six school visits in two days putting Cowboys legend Matt Bowen in classrooms across Townsville to reward students on their improved school attendance. One Aitkenvale class took the words out of his mouth when Matty was asking students about the importance of being at school … with 30 nine-year-olds chanting "because every day counts"! A great measure of success – thanks Matty!

PLAYERS put their acting skills to the test with a special QCCU social video this week. Kyle Feldt, Shaun Fensom, Kyle Laybutt and Josh Chudleigh tried their hand as tellers – scanning cards, and responding to QCCU customers – stay tuned to see it soon!

OUR very own Matt ‘Thumper’ Scott celebrated his 32nd birthday with a visit to the German Australian Club - Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!

CONGRATULATIONS to North Queensland's league lady Jenni-Sue Hoepper, named in the 2017 Jillaroos Interstate Challenge Merit Team by Australian rugby league selectors from the teams in the recent Women’s Interstate Challenge! 

WHILE the boys hit the paddock for the last rounds of the regular season in August, Cowboys HQ is also getting busy with ‘Active August’ – the brainchild of Matty Bowen. The daily challenge is 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups … why not join in!

WE also want to congratulate Matty Bowen on his ‘FIRST FULL DAY IN THE OFFICE’! While he racks up the miles on the road with various community programs, it’s an inside joke that he has never worked a full day – but he can now proudly say he has!

HALFBACK Michael Morgan tried his hand as club photographer this week, with a few of his pics making the cut and featuring in the training gallery. His portrait of teammate Shane Wright is our cover shot. Man of many talents!