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19 Mar 2018 10:10
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Cowboys' Origin stars to back up in NRL

    North Queensland will be boosted by the return of three Maroons' players against South Sydney in Sunday's NRL clash, just four days after the Origin decider.

    - article from

    North Queensland's three State of Origin stars will back up in the NRL and face South Sydney in Cairns on Sunday.

    Gavin Cooper, Michael Morgan and Coen Hess each got through Queensland's series-clinching 22-6 victory unscathed, and will turn out as the Cowboys begin their drive for the NRL's top four now the representative period is over.

    Coach Paul Green said he had no concerns about any post-Origin hangover after the Maroons' success.

    "When you're on a high, you're on a high," Green said.

    "I'd rather be in this situation than them coming off a loss from Wednesday night, so I don't think it should be an issue."

    Green's decision to back up his Origin stars comes after the trio returned to help beat Penrith just three days after the second game in Sydney.

    Cooper, Morgan and Hess starred in the last-minute win in round 16, just a day after Johnathan Thurston was ruled out for the season in the aftermath of Game II.

    "It's a thing young guys have got to learn," Green said.

    "We've got some good examples of Thumper (Matt Scott) and JT (Thurston) over the years.

    "They take pride in coming back and playing well for their club.

    "They've done it so well this year, so hopefully they can do it well Sunday."

    The inclusion of Cooper, Morgan and Hess is vital for the Cowboys given Thurston and Scott's absence for the remainder of the season.

    They are equal on wins with fourth-placed Manly, but have clashes with Melbourne, Brisbane, Cronulla and Sydney Roosters in the run home.

    Cooper said his 31-year-old body had left him the sorest of the trio, however, he believed the Rabbitohs' decision to play the match in Cairns would play into the representative stars' hands.

    "It's tough to back up, but it will be fine," Cooper said.

    "Last time it was a three-day turnaround and that was at home.

    "But Cairns is pretty much home to us or in North Queensland."


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