Millward picks bolter for Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Millward picks bolter for Cowboys

By Laine Clark 03/06/2008 08:44:47 PM Comments (0)

By North Queensland coach Ian Millward's own admission, his selection of young apprentice electrician Nick Slyney is a "great story".

Slyney who? Exactly.

The unheralded 19-year-old redefined the term bolter when he was named in the starting backrow for the Cowboys' NRL clash with Wests Tigers at Campbelltown on Saturday night.

He may not be a household name but Millward said the Atherton backrower had been banging on the door for several weeks since arriving in "the big smoke".

Slyney has made every post a winner since successfully trialling for the Cowboys' under 20s team.

He works as an apprentice electrician by day, trains for the Cowboys by night and plays Toyota Cup football on the weekends - until now.

"I think it is a great story," Millward said in Townsville.

"It speaks of the dream of a young kid you turns up to trials, wasn't contracted to the 20s, worked his way into the squad then the team.

"He came straight out of Atherton to the big smoke hoping to get a run on the bench for the 20s but he has worked his way through the grades - he's been outstanding."

The "raw" 189cm, 96kg former North Queensland under 19 representative will be backed by dumped Maroons forwards Carl Webb and Jacob Lillyman.

"I wanted to make sure there were some forwards around him tough enough in Carl, Ray (Cashmere) and Troncy (Shane Tronc) ... so he won't be intimidated," Millward said.

"I'm sure if anything happens out there they will look after him."

Meanwhile, Millward expected Webb and Lillyman to bounce back against the Wests Tigers after being overlooked for Origin II.

"Jacob and Carl were both disappointed. What they need to do is reinforce how much they enjoy playing Origin by playing well for the Cowboys this weekend," he said.

"The only way they can get back in (to Origin) is play well."

Due to skipper Johnathan Thurston's Origin duty, former Newcastle Knights utility Daniel Abraham has been slotted into the halves at pivot with Travis Burns at No.7 for North Queensland.

"He's played No.6 for the Knights and spent a lot of time with Andrew Johns - his experience will be really handy for us," Millward said of Abraham.

Anthony Watts, Matt Bartlett, Sione Faumuina and Scott Bolton are the new faces on a five-man bench.

Millward officially took over as Cowboys mentor in last round's "devastating" 19-18 golden point home loss to the Panthers.

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