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Cowboys finalise 2021 coaching staff

Incoming North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Head Coach Todd Payten will lead a new-look coaching and performance staff for the 2021 NRL season.

Payten will be joined by assistant coaches Dean Young, Steve Georgallis and Ben Rauter.

Young enjoyed a glittering 209-game playing career with St George Illawarra, which also included appearances for both NSW and Australia.

The 36-year-old immediately transitioned into coaching following his retirement from playing in 2012, culminating in being named Interim Dragons Head Coach for the back end of the 2020 season.

A Western Suburbs Magpies legend, Georgallis appeared in 206 first grade games over an 11-year career, which also included stints with the Roosters and Wests Tigers.

The 52-year-old has enjoyed a long coaching career, including stints as Interim Head Coach with Penrith in 2011 and the Bulldogs in 2020.

Cowboy No.95, Rauter also appeared in the NRL for Canberra and captained Wakefield in the English Super League. The 41-year-old transitioned into a career with the Queensland Police Force following his playing career, but has remained heavily involved in rugby league in the Cairns region, including a stint as assistant coach at the Northern Pride.

Rauter will act as the Development Coach, focusing on players not playing in the NRL side.

Cowboys life member Paul Bowman has been reappointed as Cowboys Head of Performance. Bowman previously held the role between 2011 to 2018, before moving to head of Sports Science prior to the 2019 season.

Ash Graham and Mark Henry remain as part of the Strength and Conditioning staff and will be joined by James Moran.

Moran was previously a strength and conditioning coach at the Townsville Blackhawks before moving to the Warriors prior to the 2019 season.

Incoming Head of Football Micheal Luck said he was excited for the future with the new Cowboys coaching team bringing a diverse range of knowledge and philosophies to their roles at the club. 

“There is no question that changes on-the-field will be driven by the extremely talented team we have assembled off-the-field. Our new coaching team is an exciting mix of experience and backgrounds which, under Todd’s direction, will generate an appealing brand of footy for Cowboys fans and members,” he said.

When asked about the performance team that had been convened for 2021, Luck said that having Paul Bowman at the helm was a key factor in creating a football program that would develop and support a humble, hard-working and disciplined squad.

“Paul is one of the longest tenured and most respected performance coaches in the game and the addition of James’s unique skillset to the established expertise of Ash and Mark will ensure the squad is prepared in order to excel in the arduous week-to-week demands of the NRL competition,” he said.