The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Thursday night.
1. MILESTONE MAN
Jason Taumalolo will on Thursday night become the youngest player in club history to play 250 career games for the Cowboys. The 30-year-old joins Johnathan Thurston (294), Matt Bowen (270) and Matt Scott (268) as the only players to reach the 250 game milestone.
2. NANAI’S RETURN
Jeremiah Nanai is set to return on Thursday night from an AC joint injury that he picked up in Round 21 against the Eels in Townsville. The 2022 NRL Rookie of the Year has been named to start in the second-row, with Coen Hess moving back to the bench.
3. PAUL GREEN MEDAL
The Cowboys and Sharks will be competing for more than just the two points on Thursday night, with the Paul Green Medal up for grabs in Townsville. The coach of the winning team will select the Paul Green Medal winner, which will be presented on field following full-time. Green’s son Jed will lead the Cowboys on to the field, while daughter Emerson will lead the Sharks out.
4. CURTAIN RAISER
Fans who get to the ground early will get to see some of the brightest young rugby league talent North Queensland has to offer, when St Patrick’s College, Mackay meets Kirwan State High in the Aaron Payne Cup from 5.05pm. As many as 14 Cowboys contracted players have been named to take part, including Bucks Jaxon Purdue and Xavier Kerrisk from St Pats and Kaiden Lahrs and Tavita Penaia Te'o from Kirwan.
5. RECENT RECORD
The Cowboys have met the Sharks on 54 occasions since 1995, the most of any opponent other than the Broncos (60). North Queensland has had a rough recent run against the Sharks, winning just one of the previous 10 meetings with Cronulla dating back to 2018.