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5 things you need to know: Cowboys v Eels

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the Parramatta Eels at 1300SMILES Stadium on Friday evening on a night of milestones for the club.


Fourteen seasons after first running on the field as a Cowboy, Johnathan Thurston will play his final game at 1300SMILES Stadium on Friday night. Fittingly a win over the Eels would signal JT's 100th victory at the venue he has enjoyed so much success at since becoming a Cowboy in 2005.


Thurston's swansong isn't the only major story line tied to Friday night's encounter. Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott will become just the third player and first forward in club history to reach the 250-game milestone. Scott will join Thurston and long-time teammate Matthew Bowen as the only players to have played 250 or more games for the Cowboys.


It's also a huge night for Cowboys hooker Jake Granville, who will play his 100th game for the club. After joining the club prior to the 2015 season, Granville has been a model of consistency. The 29-year-old has never played less than 24 games his three full seasons in North Queensland and has played every game so far in 2018.


Parramatta players won't have fond memories of the majority of their previous trips to North Queensland. The Eels have won just two games at 1300SMILES Stadium in the last 18 years. Prior to a shock loss last season when Parramatta visited, the Cowboys had won nine of the previous 10 clashes with the Eels at home.



After missing last weekend's clash with Cronulla, lock Jason Taumaolo and co-captain Scott will be back in Paul Green's line-up to face the Eels. The star duo will resume their fearsome combination with prop Jordan McLean, who has been in sensational form since returning from a long-injury lay-off in Round 20. To accommodate their return, Scott Bolton and John Asiata revert to the interchange.

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.