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2018 pre-season thread

Minto

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Saw BDR's post in the Recruitment thread and thought we needed a place to post pre-season training news.

Last Friday some of the younger guys started their pre-season:

"Seven of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys' class of 2018 have stepped out on to the training field this week as a staggered pre-season regime begins.

NRL squad members Josh Chudleigh, Shaun Hudson, Emry Pere, Carlin Anderson, Jake Clifford, Enari Tuala and Mitch Dunn have begun their skills, weights and conditioning sessions under the watchful eye of club coaches and High Performance Unit staff.

The group will train together for a fortnight and will be joined by the bulk of the squad over successive weeks.

The Cowboys’ Rugby League World Cup contingent of Michael Morgan, Jordan McLean, Te Maire Martin and Jason Taumalolo will return early in the new year."



http://www.cowboys.com.au/news/2017/11/09/_gallery_kick_off_to.af_news.html
 

Minto

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Scott could come back even better
By Joel Gould‌, Queensland Reporter‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com
Wed 8th November, 04:33PM

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys assistant coach Josh Hannay has lauded Matt Scott's attitude as the Kangaroos prop prepares for his return to training after nearly making a surprise comeback in the finals.

The Maroons and Kangaroos veteran has made stunning progress since suffering the ACL injury that ruined his 2017 campaign.

"Matt's is a major injury to come back from and it is going to be a challenge for him, but we got to see the work he put in with the rehab squad this year where he trained the house down and left no stone unturned in his recovery,'' he said.

"It was a real credit to him that he got himself into a position where he was a borderline chance of being available for the last two weeks of the finals.

"That was a testament to his dedication and he looked extremely fit at the back end of the year.

"All of that augurs well when he starts back training in preparation for next season."

While Scott's recovery is racing ahead, star halfback Johnathan Thurston may take a bit longer to get into full training.

"'Johnno' is obviously a bit behind Matty, and coming back from a different injury as well, but despite the fact that he won't be able to do everything when he comes back it will just be good to have him around this pre-season; that is for sure," Hannay added.

Former Maroons and Test prop Greg Dowling said there may be an upside to Scott's enforced 2017 lay off.

Dowling compared an injury experience he battled through during his playing days to the situation now facing Scott.

The rugged prop said playing for an extended period of time with an undiagnosed injury late in his career came in stark contrast to the treatment afforded to Scott.

"I didn't know I had fractured my hip and it was so frustrating for me it wasn't funny. It ended up finishing my career," Dowling said.

"Whereas I laboured for two years, Matt, having this time off, will return rejuvenated and with extra energy.

"With his knee mended he will rip and tear and come back like a kid in a candy shop.

"I reckon this break can add two years to his career and I have no doubt he will come back an even better player… if that's possible.''

The addition of ball-playing skills to Scott's game in recent years is something that has delighted Dowling.

"Three or four years ago he started to develop an offload and become a ball distributor, and that jolted him up the ladder to become the number one prop in the game,'' he said.

"I can still see him taking his game to yet another level.

"I was speaking to him a few months back and he was saying how relaxed he was and how he can't wait to get back into it for the Cowboys.

"When you play club and representative football up front like he does you get bashed around so this break will rejuvenate his mind, tune up the rest of his body and allow him to get over those other niggling injuries you carry."

Dowling has no doubt the Cowboys can go one better next season with the return of their big guns.

"To get to the grand final without the number one prop in the game and the number one player in the game was a mean effort," he said.

"With those two players back, and throw in (new signing) Jordan McLean as well, you can install them now as premiership favourites."

http://www.cowboys.com.au/news/2017/11/08/fit_again_scott_coul.html
 
Thurston returns to Cowboys training
Wed 15 Nov, 2017, 10:00am
By Joel Gould‌, Queensland Reporter‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

North Queensland star Johnathan Thurston is set to return to Cowboys training after shoulder surgery. Credit: Robb Cox. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Johnathan Thurston returns to Cowboys training on Wednesday morning for testing as he targets his much-anticipated return in 2018.

The 34-year-old North Queensland co-captain underwent shoulder surgery after bravely guiding Queensland to victory in Origin II on June 21 despite playing under duress, in what was the last game he played in 2017.

Cowboys coach Paul Green told NRL.com that Thurston’s rehabilitation had been on track before the club’s post-season break and he had wanted to return early to pre-season training.

“JT had to have some days off through that (rehabilitation) period so he wanted to start a bit earlier,” Green said.

“He’ll have testing to see where he is at and what he can and can’t do, but he was tracking really well before we all broke.

“He will probably be doing some modified contact and in terms of weights and running he is not far off, but we will assess him when he gets back.”


On March 9 Thurston will line up in his 300th NRL game when the Cowboys host the Sharks in Townsville.

He will be joined at pre-season training on Monday by Cowboys prop Matt Scott who is well on track in his recovery from an ACL injury he suffered in the round-two clash with the Broncos.

Scott and Thurston played key roles off the field as mentors for the Cowboys as they surged to the grand final, while also working hard on their rehabilitation.

“They are both jumping out of their skins,” Green said.

“Even though they weren’t playing, they both went through what we all went through last season and that has made them more hungry, I reckon.

“I know that during the finals series, and towards the back end of last year, you could see a real mixture of disappointment because of what they were missing out on and also excitement.

“Part of that excitement is about getting back into training and getting back on the field in 2018.”

http://www.nrl.com/thurston-returns-to-cowboys-training/tabid/10874/newsid/115377/default.aspx
 
McLean worth the wait for Cowboys
Thu 16 Nov, 2017, 7:00am
By Joel Gould‌, Queensland Reporter‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

It took a year for North Queensland to find the right replacement for 2015 premiership-winning prop James Tamou and Cowboys coach Paul Green insists it will be worth the wait.

When former Storm prop Jordan McLean arrives in Townsville for pre-season training in the new year it will be on the back of a World Cup campaign with the Kangaroos and an NRL premiership.

The 26-year-old will be in his prime and is the style of front-rower Green wanted when Tamou left for Penrith at the end of the 2016 season.

The physical parallels between McLean and Tamou are uncanny. Both stand 196cm tall with McLean, at 115kg, just edging Tamou on the scales.

Both are awkward customers to handle and have ball skills which complement their size.

"When we lost Jimmy we wanted to make sure we didn't just sign anyone to replace him," Green told NRL.com.


"We didn't want to sign somebody just for the sake of it, and we felt Jordan fitted the bill really well as a really good replacement for Jimmy, albeit a year later.

"He has some family connections up here in North Queensland as well so it has worked out for both parties.

"What he brings to our side is a different body shape, which I like to have.

"He has that tall, rangy build, similar to Jimmy Tamou, and it is just a different thing for the opposition to have to deal with.

"I think his offload is something that has also developed really well.

"It is great for us with Jordan now getting that international experience too. It is only going to add to him as a player."

With McLean's arrival, Green will have far more options up front with veteran prop Matt Scott also returning from a knee injury.

The variety of styles showcased by the Cowboys props will make them a potent force. The team will also boast the no-nonsense approach of Scott Bolton and the dancing feet and silky skills of John Asiata.

Following the 2015 premiership win the Cowboys retained the 17 that won the title for the following season.

Once again, they have not been overly active in the player market with McLean the only one of the new recruits with significant NRL experience.

Star duo Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo have been developed in Townsville and retained, a pattern Green said would remain the club's ethos.

"We have had a focus on retention rather than recruitment and I think that has worked well for us," he said.

"We are a development club. If there is a lack in our team we will go to the market where we have to but we haven't had to do that too much.

"That allows you continuity, which is important."

http://www.nrl.com/mclean-worth-the-wait-for-cowboys/tabid/10874/newsid/115397/default.aspx
 

Harko83

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Greenie doesn’t really speak like he is going to leave. It seems like a long term plan he has going on.
 

Revivous

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Greenie doesn’t really speak like he is going to leave. It seems like a long term plan he has going on.
I really hope he doesn't. I can't see him leaving either. Once JT retires, that'll open the war chest up a bit for us to splash some cash and with Coops and Thumper probably retiring after that.
 

paulo_w

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Good to read Chud is there at the start of pre s...I hope he beats everyone for a bench spot
 

Dream

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Good to read Chud is there at the start of pre s...I hope he beats everyone for a bench spot
I'm hoping for TMM.

Wouldn't be disappointed if Chuds got a run though.
 

GunsUp42

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I'm hoping for TMM.

Wouldn't be disappointed if Chuds got a run though.
TMM needs to be in the team somewhere I think. The bench utility role is the only logical choice atm. He's too much of an asset to be playing in QCup. His upside is enormous.
 

Beaves NQ

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I really hope he doesn't. I can't see him leaving either. Once JT retires, that'll open the war chest up a bit for us to splash some cash and with Coops and Thumper probably retiring after that.
A lot of that freed up war chest will have to be thrown at retaining Morgs though.
 

paulo_w

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Chud said on the news, he dreamt of playing last night..
I have Tmm in my starting 13, but not bench
 

paulo_w

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Where does he fit in your starting 13?
6
Morgan fullback, JT 7

We always are hearing nowdays how the fullback needs to play like a 6...Morgan moving to fb wont change him getting his hands on the ball alot-fb is arguably the position for the clubs best attacking player
 

Rumbo

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We always are hearing nowdays how the fullback needs to play like a 6...Morgan moving to fb wont change him getting his hands on the ball alot-fb is arguably the position for the clubs best attacking player
Morgan would 100% leave if Greeny put him back to FB.
 

GunsUp42

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Morgan would 100% leave if Greeny put him back to FB.
I'd like to see him be the team general and main playmaker next season and JT play the way he plays in rep football with Cronk as the organiser. I think he is starting to see himself as 'The Guy' now and putting him back to fullback undoes all of that development.
 

Harko83

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TMM needs to be in the team somewhere I think. The bench utility role is the only logical choice atm. He's too much of an asset to be playing in QCup. His upside is enormous.
Throw him in the centres and see how he goes.
 

paulo_w

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What about John Asiata-is his spot in the 17 safe

Linnett/Oneil are they safe?
Oneil seems like he would be safer than Linnett, but pretty strong year again by Kane-probably 2nd to Lolo in run metres i assume, strong D, scored some trys
 

Moggy

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6
Morgan fullback, JT 7

We always are hearing nowdays how the fullback needs to play like a 6...Morgan moving to fb wont change him getting his hands on the ball alot-fb is arguably the position for the clubs best attacking player
You're determined to get rid of Coote one way or another Paulo .
I was in favour of that move when Morgo was out of sorts earlier in the season, but his late season form demands he play in the halves. I'm in favour of Morgo @ 7 & JT at 6, the others are the coaches problem

Sent from my F8331 using Tapatalk
 

Dream

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Cowboys recruit Anderson's all-round skills
Fri 17 Nov, 2017, 5:00pm
By Joel Gould‌, Queensland Reporter‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com


North Queensland recruit Carlin Anderson playing for the Townsville Blackhawks. Credit: QRL Media. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Just call him ''The Natural''.

Cowboys recruit Carlin Anderson's Ipswich Grammar School mentor insists the all-round sporting prowess of the 22-year-old is the equal of former Wallabies and Broncos star Berrick Barnes.

Both Anderson and Barnes attended Ipswich Grammar School and were teen stars in cricket, union and league.

Anderson was a Queensland rep in those sports, along with athletics and softball.

He had initially set his heart on a career in cricket, where he was big hitting top order batsman, before the Ipswich Jets swooped.

After winning the 2015 Intrust Super Cup premiership with Ipswich at fullback, Anderson was signed by the Broncos for the following season.

He then linked with the Townsville Blackhawks before signing a two-year deal with the Cowboys.

Ipswich Grammar School director of sport Nigel Greive told NRL.com of the innate talents possessed by Anderson, who won a sporting scholarship to the school as a 14-year-old.

"I have been here for 28 years and in my time as director of sport I have only seen one guy at the same level in terms of his all-round sporting ability and that is Berrick Barnes," Greive said.

"Carlin's power-to-weight ratio and timing is extraordinary in every sport he plays and in that area he is unique.

"He is not the largest bloke running around in league circles but he generates an incredible amount of power whether that be in bat and ball sports, tackling someone in rugby or breaking a tackle in league.

"The other thing he possesses is an incredible level of spatial awareness.

"It is in that Twenty20 world of cricket that I would have loved to have seen him play, because he was purpose-built for that.

"Carlin really flourished in the Jets program which is why he was picked up by the Broncos and then the Cowboys, where I am sure he will shine."



Anderson's exploits over the years have attracted a series of legendary stories, as his former Ipswich coach Ben Walker can attest.

"I was at (Brisbane private school) Churchie one day and the Grammar firsts coach was asking about how Carlin was going," Walker recalled.

"He said 'see that gum tree over there. He scored a century here one day and he hit one into the river and one over that gum tree'.

"We saw him at Jets training virtually straight out of school and he got the ball and busted us up with his first touch in an opposed session and we thought 'this kid can play'.

"In a semi-final the year we won the Intrust Super Cup he got a bad pass which went to his feet. He controlled it with a grubber, then another grubber. He kicked it four times with perfect control and scored. It was like he was playing with a round ball … and he is a very good soccer player as well."

Walker said Anderson was "part of our family, effectively" after he lived with Ben, wife Kylie and their four children for 12 months.

"He is a ripper of a kid, super-talented at everything and I want to see him go well," Walker said.

"Carlin has got a really silky touch. His pass is nice, he can kick and he can run. Even if he plays poorly I enjoy watching him because I just like the way he does things.

"Greeny is a good coach and he will put the hard work into him and get the best out of him.

"When he gets the work ethic and matures, there is no doubt he will play first grade because he has the skills most blokes don't."



Anderson suffered a horrific broken jaw while playing for the Jets in 2016, with the damage likened to what John Sattler sustained in the 1970 grand final.

At the back end of a 2017 Intrust Super Cup season in which he was the competition's leading point scorer, Anderson broke his arm. That resulted in him missing the finals.

Cowboys coach Paul Green had been keeping a close eye on Anderson. When a vacancy popped up in the Cowboys roster he moved in.

"We first had a crack at him before he signed with the Broncos," Green said.

"Then came up here to the Blackhawks this year and I don't mind seeing that. It is a sign that a player is backing themselves to get back into an NRL system.

"Carlin was very good for the Blackhawks every time I watched him.

"We lost Kalyn Ponga over the off-season so it was a position where we needed to sign someone and it was a reward for the consistency Carlin had shown.

"It also shows to other players here there is a genuine pathway through Intrust Super Cup teams."

Anderson also has plenty to offer away from the field for the Cowboys, as Greive explained.

"Carlin is a very good role model in terms of being an Indigenous boy who has gone on with it," he said.

"He has come back to our school and given positive messages to our current Indigenous students about pathways and making good decisions.

"So there is a depth to him in a few areas, which is refreshing."

http://www.nrl.com/cowboys-recruit-andersons-all-round-skills/tabid/10874/newsid/115429/default.aspx
 

paulo_w

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I would have
14. Chud
15. Bolt
16. Hess
17 Asiata
What props/back row are competing with John gang?
I had Mago ahead of John for 2018 but he move on
 
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