North Queensland Toyota Cowboys co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott will lead a strong team to take on the Wests Tigers in next weekend’s trial match at Barlow Park in Cairns.
The match on Saturday 17 February will be both players’ first games after returning from long-term injuries – Thurston injured his shoulder in the second State of Origin game last year and missed the rest of the NRL season, while Scott played just two matches in 2017 after sustaining a serious knee injury early in the year.
Green has named a 22-man squad for the Cairns trial and with unlimited interchanges, he will give all players named a decent hit-out.
“It’s good to have them back,” Green said of his inspirational leaders.
“Just having them around at training has been really good. It’s really helped the young guys but it’s also added that level of experience.
“They’ll be glad to get out there on the paddock again.”
Green will give his swag of emerging players a run on Saturday week, including Far North Queensland locals Jake Clifford (Tully) and Enari Tuala (Cairns), while Mareeba’s Ben Hampton and Innisfail’s Scott Bolton will also play.
Of the Cowboys’ Rugby League World Cup contingent, only Kiwi half Te Maire Martin will play, with Michael Morgan, Jason Taumalolo and new signing Jordan McLean to get more training miles in their legs before taking on the Storm in the second trial match – the Cam & JT testimonial match at Suncorp Stadium on Friday 23 February.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Wests Tigers
7.30pm, Saturday 17 February, Barlow Park, Cairns
Ben Hampton, Gideon Gela-Mosby, Javid Bowen, Shaun Hudson, Enari Tuala, Te Maire Martin, Johnathan Thurston, Scott Bolton, Jake Granville, Matt Scott, Ethan Lowe, Coen Hess, John Asiata, Kyle Laybutt, Jake Clifford, Mitch Dunn, Shane Wright, Corey Jensen, Sam Hoare, Emry Pere, Francis Molo, Carlin Anderson
4pm: Gates open, Barlow Park, Cairns
5.30pm: Northern Pride v Cairns Connection
7.30pm: Cowboys v Tigers trial
Tickets: ticketlink.com.au or call 1300 855 835
Cairns trial game membership: GA ticket + membership $60
Join now: membership.cowboys.com.au or call 1300 462 692 (option 1)