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Johnathan with wife Karen, and children Scott, 7, Grace, two-and-a-half, and baby Geena.

Part 1: From the vault: Cane farming Cowboy
Part 2: From the vault: Working Cowboys
Part 3: From the vault: Looming Loomans

It is a huge decision to pack up a young family and travel half way around the world to play rugby league.

It is probably just as well Karen Davies, the wife of Great Britain import, Jonathan, had little time to think about the daunting task they were facing before they boarded their Garuda flight to Australia.

They had only months before welcomed their third child, baby Geena, and would face a lengthy plane trip with Geena and their two other children Scott, 7, and Grace, two-and-a-half.

"I really didn't think about the trip that much until after the baby was born," Karen said.

"The worst thing was we didn't know when we were coming out. It was all delayed because Johnathan's team continued in the competition.

"We were originally coming out on May 7 and I was telling a friend of mine and she said to me – 'that's only two weeks away'.

"I panicked and packed everything up in two days then everything sat in suitcases for a month."

Johnathan with wife Karen, and children Scott, 7, Grace, two-and-a-half, and baby Geena.
Johnathan with wife Karen, and children Scott, 7, Grace, two-and-a-half, and baby Geena.

On their arrival in Townsville the Davies family moved into a fully furnished house with a pool in Annandale. The pool proved a very welcome addition and all have improved their Great Britain suntans during their time in Australia.

Karen said they looked at the trip much like a holiday and took the opportunity to see as much of the area as they could.

During their stay the Davies family made trips to Cairns, Tully, Magnetic Island and the Great Barrier Reef.

"When we came over last time Scott was a lot younger and he didn't really remember much about Australia," Karen said. "This time he will remember everything."

The arrival of the Davies' family neighbours from Great Britain in June helped break up the trip, according to Karen.

"If they hadn't come out I would have been pretty home sick," she said.

Jonathan said he had enjoyed coming to Australia even though it had taken a while to adjust to many aspects of playing in Australia.

He arrived mid-season and had to familiarise himself with a new set of players and an entirely different lifestyle.

"It has not been that difficult, but the training is more intense than back home," he said.

"The game is getting quicker," Jonathan said. "And in many ways it is a young man's game."

When Jonathan arrived, there were certainly expectations placed on him by a crowd which well remembered the brilliant individual try he scored against Australia at Wembley last year.

He didn't disappoint, showing just how he could step, weave and accelerate when he scored a 90 metre try in the game against Newcastle in Round 11.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the fact Johnathan did so well in the English Premier League meant he didn't arrive until Round 10 for the Cowboys game against the Roosters and left mid-August.

With the juniors and solid foundation for the North Queensland Cowboys, Jonathan feels confident about the XXXX Cowboys' future.

"The potential of the young player is good," Jonathan said.

"With a North Queensland team, now the kids have an ambition to aim for.

"The club is very professionally run by nice people. It (the club) has encountered some difficulties this year.

"It is only the first season though and there are going to be some teething problems.

"In a cut throat business it doesn't cost anything to be nice and you have got that in abundance here.

"I am sure it's going to be successful."

Karen was likewise impressed with the football club.

"The people at the club are really nice to the kids and everyone can't do enough for us really."

For the Davies family the highlight of the trip has been the people.

"When we went to Sydney we were a bit alienated, we didn't really get involved in the community," Johnathan said.

"In the city you can become just a number.

"In North Queensland we have made quite a few friends and have had friends from the UK come and stay with us."

Karen has also been impressed by the friendly nature of the people of North Queensland.

"We have been to loads of barbecues over here," she said. "You couldn't even plan one in the UK."

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.