Thurston, Scott to sit out Nines

Cowboys captains Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston hold the NRL premiership trophy up for Mackay fans at the Bluewater Quay. Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury
Cowboys captains Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston hold the NRL premiership trophy up for Mackay fans at the Bluewater Quay. Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury Lee Constable

 

 Cowboys coach Paul Green won't risk star player Johnathan Thurston at the Auckland Nines, instead saving him and co-captain Matt Scott for the World Club Challenge in England.

Thurston and Scott are yet to play in the pre-season tournament in Auckland, and Green said that wouldn't change this year with the NRL premiers scheduled to take on Leeds in England on February 21.

"Matty Scott keeps telling me he wants to play Nines at some stage - I think every player would like to experience it," Green said. But we won't be taking any unnecessary risks (in the Nines).

"The World Club Challenge is something we are looking forward to. There is plenty at stake and our focus will be to ensure we play well in that game."

While the co-captains won't be suiting up in New Zealand, Green didn't rule out a cameo by favourite son Matt Bowen, who has been training at the club as he settles in to his new community and development role after returning from the Super League in England.

"He's got to pass a beep test so that might rule him out," Green joked. "But we would be mad not to use a guy with his experience as a mentor for some of our younger guys.

"All the players get a kick out of having him out there on the training paddock."



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