How the Cowboys will get even better in 2016

Written by GREG PRICHARD , February 19, 2016

NORTH Queensland coach Paul Green is banking on the natural improvement of his younger players to cover for a quiet off-season on the recruitment front by the Cowboys.

Green says the experience of crossing the world to play against Super League team Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge at Headingley on Monday morning, AEST time, will further assist the maturation process.

“I often get asked where our improvement is going to come from, because we didn’t really recruit any big names,” Green tells RLW.

“We’ve recruited some really good players, but they’re younger guys and inexperienced guys. We’ve pulled up a couple of guys from our under 20s team from last year who have transitioned into our fulltime squad, but for us as an NRL team our improvement will come from those younger guys who were in our grand final-winning squad.

“I’m talking about players like John Asiata (aged 22), Jason Taumalolo (22), Michael Morgan (24) and Ethan Lowe (24). Lachlan Coote (25) has really only had one season up here so far, because of injury in his first year, so he’s going to improve as well and you should mention Jimmy Tamou (27) in there, too. He’s going to be better off from the experience of having played in a grand final as well as more rep footy.

“As far as the older guys go, Matt Scott (30) has come back really well from neck surgery. He and ‘Johnno’ (Johnathan Thurston, 32) are pros. They know what they need to do. After that it’s about the younger guys around them improving.”

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