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Four key talking points heading into our final trial v Raiders takes a look at the talking points heading into Sunday’s second and final trial game of the 2024 pre-season against the Canberra Raiders.


It won’t count in the record books, but Sunday’s game marks the first time Tom Dearden and Reuben Cotter will lead the Cowboys onto the field after being announced as the club’s newest co-captains earlier in the pre-season. Dearden will be the youngest captain in club history at just 22 years old.


While Valentine Holmes and Murray Taulagi are locked in, the other centre and wing spots remain open. Kyle Feldt and Semi Valemei have been locked in a pre-season battle for the right wing spot, while Zac Laybutt is in the box seat for the right centre spot after being named to start against the Raiders.


Interchange spots for Round 1 are also up for grabs and Sunday’s game shapes as the deciding factor. Cotter, Jason Taumalolo, Jordan McLean, Coen Hess and Griffin Neame appeared locked in, leaving Kulikefu Finefeuiaki, Sam McIntyre, Tom Mikaele and Jack Gosiewski battling for bench forward slots.


Sunday’s game will give Cowboys fans a first look at the game styles introduced by new assistant coaches Justin Morgan and James Maloney. Morgan arrived at the Cowboys this pre-season with a long and distinguished coaching resume including his most recent role as an assistant at the Warriors, while this marks Maloney first official coaching gig after hanging up the boots last year.

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.