The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the Gold Coast Titans at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in a long-awaited Round 3 clash on Friday night.
1. WE’RE BACK
Nine long weeks after the NRL season was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Cowboys will finally be back in action on Friday night. Paul Green’s men haven’t taken the field since a 24-16 victory over the Bulldogs on March 19.
2. NEW SKIPPER
With halfback and captain Michael Morgan still sidelined as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery, prop Jordan McLean will lead the side on Friday night. McLean captained the side on seven occasions in 2019. Lock Jason Taumalolo has been named vice-captain.
3. STEPPING UP
Mackay product Mitch Dunn will make his second start in the second-row at NRL level. Dunn will wear the No.11 jersey made famous by Cowboys life member Gavin Cooper, with Cooper still recovering from a calf strain sustained in the first week after returning to training. Dunn started from the interchange in the opening two rounds.
4. NEW NO.7
Dunn isn’t the only local product to earn his first start of the season in Round 3, with Tully young gun Jake Clifford to start at halfback in Morgan’s absence. Clifford will partner Scott Drinkwater in the halves for the first time at NRL level.
5. ON A ROLL
The Cowboys will be shooting for a 10th consecutive victory over the Titans on Friday night. North Queensland have lost to the Titans once in the Paul Green era, a 13-12 defeat in Round 4 of the 2014 season at the Gold Coast. The Titans most recent victory in North Queensland came in Round 1 of the 2012 season.