Competition hot for Cowboys' No.6 jumper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Competition hot for Cowboys' No.6 jumper

By Wayne Heming 10/03/2009 06:11:31 PM Comments (0)

New coach Neil Henry has forecast an intense battle for the Cowboys' No.6 starting jumper after giving Travis Burns first crack against the Broncos.

Henry admitted on Tuesday after naming his 17-man squad for Friday night's NRL showdown that it had been a tough call between Burns and former Warrior Grant Rovelli.

If Burns can finish on top of his rival in the opening game it will push his case.

But that won't be easy given Brisbane's No.6 is Darren Lockyer.

"It was a tough call to make," said Henry.

"They've got contrasting styles.

"Travis is a very tenacious player and a good defender.

"Grant Rovelli probably has a bit more of a kicking game and an organisational game.

"They bring different things to the team.

"Travis certainly knows he needs to get out there and perform each week and Grant's going to do his best to take his spot."

Henry said Brisbane's selection of three youngsters, Antonio Winterstein and Jharal Yow Yeh on the wings and Alex Glenn in the centres was understandable.

"They've obviously played very well in the trial to get a start and they got a few injury problems with (Steve) Michaels and (Justin) Hodges not playing," said the former Canberra coach.

"It's a great thing to debut in front of 50,000 people at Suncorp Stadium, it can sometimes add enthusiasm to the team."

Henry said Winterstein and Yow Yeh would be tested on the wings.

"I'm sure we'll be trying to work them over a bit," he said.

"Ty Williams (who has played Origin) has a fair bit of experience on that left edge so we'll be testing them out," he said.

"Yow Yeh has played a few first grade games and they've got some speed out there and we're going to have to be on our toes as well."

Fullback Matt Bowen looks set to make his return from radical knee surgery and Henry was confident he was ready to go.

"Matty's right to go. He played 40 minutes last week and he's been training this week," said Henry who named Ben Farrar on the wing so he could switch to fullback if Bowen fatigues.

"He's still got some alternative training to do but that is going to be an ongoing management thing with his knee for the rest of his career."

Henry said like any game, Friday's clash would be won in the forwards.

Brisbane's front-row depth has been questioned but Henry said it would be respected.

"We need to go forward to get some momentum for our outside backs and that will be a challenge for our forwards," he said.

"The Broncos have got a pack that is certainly not as experienced but with some new faces who can go very well.

"We're expecting the battle to be in the middle of the field."

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