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Cowboys trial team list v Dolphins

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Head Coach Todd Payten has named a 21-man squad containing some of the club’s brightest rising stars for Sunday’s season opening trial against The Dolphins at Barlow Park in Cairns.

Mareeba product Ben Hampton has been named to captain the side from five-eighth. The 30-year-old Cowboys veteran will partner teenager Tom Duffy in the halves. A former Australian Schoolboy while at Townsville’s Ignatius Park College, Duffy is in his first season in the Cowboys NRL squad.

Club legend and 2015 premiership winner James Tamou will make his Cowboys return against The Dolphins. Tamou appeared in 170 games for North Queensland between 2009-2016 and also represented NSW and Australia while at the club.

>>> Payten: He can probably play anywhere but front row

Townsville product Tom Chester has been named at fullback on the back of another strong pre-season. The 21-year-old shot from the clouds to make a fairy-tale NRL debut against Cronulla in Round 18 last season after starring for the Townsville Blackhawks in the Queensland Cup.

Fellow outside backs Laitia Moceidreke, Brendan Elliot and Gehamat Shibasaki all have NRL experience, while winger and Cairns local Robert Derby played a Test for PNG in 2022.

Fijian International Taniela Sadrugu will make his first appearance in Cowboys colours after missing the corresponding trial last season through injury. Sadrugu has undergone a positional change over the pre-season, moving from centre to middle forward.

New recruit Jack Gosiewski will make his first appearance for North Queensland after joining the club from St George Illawarra. The 28-year-old will partner 19-year-old powerhouse Kulikefu Finefeuiaki in the second row with Riley Price named at lock.

Mackay Cutters hooker Kyle Schneider rounds out the forward pack.

Cowboys Young Guns graduates Mia Pua’avase, Jordan Lipp, Zac Laybutt and Jake Bourke have been named on the interchange alongside current Young Guns squad member Emarly Bitungane.

New Cowboys recruit and PNG international Sylvester Namo, Northern Pride fullback Julian Christian and Mackay Cutters half Adam Cook complete the interchange.

Sunday’s game kicks off at 5pm and will be broadcast on Fox League. The Cowboys Young Guns will take on the Northern Pride in a trial from 2.45pm.

>>> Secure your tickets here

Cowboys team to play Dolphins:

1. Tom Chester

2. Laitia Moceidreke

3. Gehamat Shibasaki

4. Brendan Elliot

5. Robert Derby

6. Ben Hampton (c)

7. Tom Duffy

8. Taniela Sadrugu

9. Kyle Schneider

10. James Tamou

11. Jack Gosiewski

12. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki

13. Riley Price


14. Mia Pua’avase

15. Sylvester Namo

16. Emarly Bitungane

17. Julian Christian

18. Jordan Lipp

19. Zac Laybutt

20. Adam Cook

21. Jake Bourke

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.