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With the Cowboys finally reproducing the kind of form that carried them to a preliminary final last year, Reuben Cotter is one of a number of the club's players hoping to remind Queensland selectors what they can do in the Origin arena.

Cotter had a breakout 2022, which included an Origin debut and selection in the Kangaroos squad for the World Cup, and former Maroons workhorse Dallas Johnson has backed him to get the job done for Billy Slater's side.

“I’d love to see Reuben Cotter come back into the team,” Johnson said when asked about a player Queensland selectors may have their eye on earlier this season.

“I know he only played one game, the first game last year, but he played 80 minutes and to play 80 minutes in your debut; I know what the game is like and that’s phenomenal.

“People don’t realise how hard that is.

Dallas Johnson in action for the Maroons.
Dallas Johnson in action for the Maroons. ©NRL Images

“I am a little bit biased I suppose because I was never that flashy player, I was just the worker, so I probably identify more with the workers and the engine room I suppose you’d call it.

“If your forwards are not going in an Origin game... it’s the most physical experience you’ll ever go through. If you’re not doing it through the middle, your flashy players don’t get the opportunity.”

Cotter hits the hole

Cotter did his chances of a recall no harm this past weekend with a telling hand in the Cowboys win against the Roosters, scoring the opening try to go with his 142 metres, five tackle breaks and 36 tackles.

“It is very important to find form (to be in contention for Origin),” Cotter told “If you can’t play good footy as a team in club land, you are less looked at.

“We will all focus on the week-to-week, and focus on our jobs within the team and putting our best foot forward. But it [playing Origin] meant everything.

“As a kid I watched Origin every Wednesday night it was on.

“Origin was something we looked forward to, wearing the jerseys and wearing the colours and sitting down and watching it so it was the best.

“I am very passionate about Queensland, and come from a very passionate football family, so it meant everything.”

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.