Cowboys recruit Lachlan Coote is set for an extended period on the sidelines after rupturing his ACL during the Auckland Nines. Photo: photosport.co.nz Credit: photosport.co.nz Copyright: photosport.co.nz
The Bowen name could be back at fullback for the Cowboys as early as Round 1 with Matthew's nephew Javid in line to replace the injured Lachlan Coote.
Coote was the major casualty of day one of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines with scans confirming that he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a tackle by Manly great Steve Menzies in the Cowboys' first game of the day.
Following the departure of club legend Matt Bowen at the end of the 2013 season, Coote was seen as the long-term successor but North Queensland coach Paul Green will now have to look to a trio of youngsters including Javid Bowen, Zac Santo and Curtis Rona.
The Cowboys contingent in Auckland were devastated at the news but halfback Robert Lui says it opens up an opportunity for one of the younger members of the squad to stamp themselves as NRL players.
"It is [devastating]," Lui told NRL.com. "Cootey, he had a good off-season leading into the Nines. It's sad but I think he'll be back this year and I wish him all the best.
"We've got a few young boys, Zaccy Santo, Curtis Rona and also Javid Bowen, Matty's nephew.
"It will be good to see, it's a chance for them and they've just got to step up and become first grade players."
Green was visibly upset yesterday afternoon but remains confident that the club has the necessary fullback stocks to cover Coote's absence.
"Obviously this is very disappointing news for Lachlan and the Cowboys, especially when we were all looking forward to his first season with us," Green said.
"Lachlan will receive the best possible treatment and we'll look forward to welcoming him back on to the field once his rehabilitation is complete.
"We believe we have a talented group of players ready to fill the fullback role this year and this opens up an opportunity for one of them for Round 1 against Canberra."