Much-anticipated club and competition milestones, returning skippers and a new kid on the block are building excitement and intrigue as North Queensland Toyota Cowboys head coach Paul Green names his first team of the 2018 National Rugby League season.
The Cowboys host the Cronulla Sharks this Friday, 9 March from 7.05pm and aside from footy being back in the North, there are plenty of reasons to be at 1300SMILES Stadium to cheer the boys on for the first time in 2018, including:
- Celebrating co-captain Johnathan Thurston’s record-breaking 271st game as a Cowboy, the champion halfback set to break Matt Bowen’s club games record.
- Welcoming Thurston and fellow co-captain Matt Scott back from long-term injuries. Scott (knee) hasn’t played an NRL game since Round 2, 2017 while Thurston (shoulder) last fronted for the club in a competition game in Round 14 last year.
- Seeing Thurston pass 300 games played in the NRL, becoming the 30th player in history to hit the magic mark.
- Being on hand for the club debut of exciting front-rower Jordan McLean, the former Storm player set to become Cowboy No.271 when he runs out on Friday night.
- Post-match concert from ARIA chart-topper Jessica Mauboy, performing live on-field!
Fullback Lachlan Coote has been ruled out with a hamstring strain, with utility Ben Hampton running out in the No.1 jersey.
The match will be the first meeting between the sides since the Cowboys edged the Sharks in week one of the 2017 finals series.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks
Round 1, 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership
7.05pm, Friday 9 March, 1300SMILES Stadium
1. Ben Hampton
2. Kyle Feldt
3. Justin O’Neill
4. Javid Bowen
5. Antonio Winterstein
6. Michael Morgan
7. Johnathan Thurston (c)
8. Matt Scott (c)
9. Jake Granville
10. Jordan McLean
11. Gavin Cooper
12. Ethan Lowe
13. Jason Taumalolo
14. Te Maire Martin
15. Coen Hess
16. Scott Bolton
17. John Asiata
18. Corey Jensen
19. Kyle Laybutt
20. Francis Molo
21. Enari Tuala
Coach: Paul Green