Local products Mitch Dunn and Reuben Cotter highlight a strong group of North Queensland Toyota Cowboys players allocated to feeder club the Mackay Cutters for the 2019 Queensland Cup season.
Star forwards Matt Scott and Josh McGuire, hooker Jake Granville and fullback Jordan Kahu have also been allocated to the Cutters, but the names of those four regular first graders won’t be the ones which excite Mackay head coach Steve Sheppard.
Dunn is poised for a breakout campaign in 2019 after registering his NRL debut last season.
A half throughout his junior football, a growth-spurt resulted in Dunn moving into the second-row in 2018 and the results were impressive.
The 22-year-old won’t appear for the Cutters in their trial against the Townsville Blackhawks at BB Print Stadium today after being selected on the interchange by Cowboys head coach Paul Green for their clash with the Melbourne Storm.
Fellow Mackay product Cotter is another exciting prospect.
After missing all of the previous two seasons, Cotter returned to action with a solid 30-minute stint off the bench for the Cowboys in their trial victory over the Gold Coast Titans last weekend.
Proserpine Brahmans junior Shane Wright also shapes as a key player for the Cutters. The 22-year-old has made three NRL appearances over the last two seasons as a skilful edge back-rower.
The ACL injury to centre Kurt Wiltshire in the Titans trial was a huge blow for Mackay. The 20-year-old was sensational for the Cutters stepping up from the under 20s last season and would have been a huge weapon for Sheppard in 2019.
Fellow youngsters Dan Russell, Emry Pere, Carlin Anderson and Logan Bayliss-Brow round out the Cowboys-contracted players allocated to the Cutters.
Wright, Cotter, Pere, Russell, Anderson and Bayliss-Brow will all feature for the Cutters in their trial against the Blackhawks this afternoon.