Matt Scott says new recruit Josh McGuire will bring the mongrel and aggression that the Cowboys need up front as the veteran prop declares his intention to play on next season following successful neck surgery.
Test lock McGuire has inked a four-year deal with the Cowboys after gaining a release from the Broncos. He will join fellow big-name signings Nene Macdonald and Ben Barba at North Queensland in 2019.
Scott spoke to NRL.com at the launch of Magic Round in Brisbane where he said McGuire gave the Cowboys the attributes and the middle forward depth they were seeking.
"I was a bit shocked to see that we actually got someone of Josh's calibre and he brings a little bit of aggression and mongrel to our squad that we've been missing," Scott said.
"He is a bit more of a mobile forward who is busy around the ruck, with footwork and speed. We have already got the likes of Jordan McLean, Jason Taumalolo and Coen Hess but Josh adds that depth we had been lacking."
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There had been speculation the 33-year-old Scott, signed until the end of 2019, was set to pull the pin on his decorated career but he said he was physically ready to play another season of NRL.
"I have no intention of retiring early and I am really looking forward to starting next year," Scott said.
"I had neck surgery about six weeks ago and I have got some great results from it. The last couple of weeks have been really good.
"If that had gone differently or I needed a bit more work done then I might have been forced into an early retirement but so far all the signs are good.
"At training, I am running, lifting weights and riding. I will start getting into skills soon but won't do any contact until after Christmas."
While middle forwards Scott, McLean, Taumalolo and McGuire won't all be able to start together, Scott said "it would be a pretty good rotation".
"And unless things change drastically between now and the start of the year my intentions are to be there in the 17 in round one," he said.
Scott also predicted Macdonald and Barba would, in combination with Kyle Feldt, give the Cowboys a potent back three.
"They are great signings and signings that needed to happen," Scott said.
"Nene is very similar to Feldty in terms of his physique and style of play and I think having another big body back there will really help our go-forward out of yardage.
"Having two 100 kilo-plus wingers is a huge advantage and then we've got Benny Barba bringing the ball back as well.
"One of Antonio Winterstein's great strengths was his really tough carry out of yardage and getting that quick play the ball. Injury and age caught up with Tones in the end but Nene brings that youth and energy. The way he can finish and score tries is very similar to Feldty so between the two of them there should be plenty of points in them."
The Cowboys have lost four of their 2015 grand final heroes with club legend Johnathan Thurston and Winterstein retired and Lachlan Coote and Kane Linnett moving on. Scott said rejuvenation of the squad was inevitable.
"The squad had been together for a long time and when that happens a squad ages," he said.
"We had some great servants of the club retire and move on and it is always disappointing to see that happen, but the signings we've made are in key areas and we now have a more balanced squad than we did last season. That is pretty exciting for 2019."