North Queensland speedster Gideon Gela-Mosby has been told he will be left out of the side's World Club Challenge squad.
Melbourne have progressed to the semi-finals with a win over the Cowboys, but might be without Cameron Munster who left the field through injury.
Wests Tigers have pulled off the upset of the tournament so far, edging the Cowboys 13-12 despite being outscored three tries to two.
Reigning NRL premiers North Queensland lived up to the hype to thrash the Newcastle Knights in their opening game of the 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines.
Super League champions Leeds will be without skipper Danny McGuire for up to two months with a knee injury - ruling him out of the World Club Challenge.
Don't be fooled by the strength of the Cowboys' Downer NRL Auckland Nines squad this weekend, it is all about preparing for a long season ahead.
Just 12 months ago Justin O'Neill thought he might be confined to reserve grade. He's now knocking loudly on the Origin door after winning a second Premiership.
Cowboys coach Paul Green has named 13 of the 17 players who won the 2015 NRL Grand Final to travel to Auckland for the Downer Auckland Nines.
In part two of our exclusive interview, the Cowboys coach discusses the importance of the World Club Challenge and Matt Scott's successful neck surgery.
In part one of Paul Green's exclusive chat with NRL.com, the Cowboys coach discusses preparations for 2016, battling complacency and off-field changes.