Electrifying Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen doesn't believe he is the "complete player" but even his Indigenous All Stars team-mates are thrilled to have "front row seats" for his return to representative football against the NRL All Stars tomorrow at Skilled Park.
Bowen, 28, who last played on the rep stage in 2007 before the first of two knee operations, was originally named on an extended bench for the Harvey Norman All Stars but is set to start at fullback in place of injured Preston Campbell, boosting his bid to revive his rep career.
"It is sad to see Preston not playing," Bowen said. "I always wanted to get the chance to play alongside of him.
"It's great to start the year with a great game like the All Stars. The week in camp is a good idea.
"Every day you learn something new from different players. I'm not a complete footballer and I'm always picking things up from past and current players on how they go about preparing for a game."
Bowen said that despite the frustrations of missing much of the 2008 and 2009 seasons because of surgery on both knees, the impact of that on his form and the rise of Billy Slater, he had not given up hope of playing for Queensland again or lost his passion for the game.
"I would still love to play rep footy ... I always will," he said. "I haven't lost the desire for it.
"I hope to play good football this year and for the Cowboys to win more games. If the Cowboys play well then that (rep footy) could happen."
It is not only the fans who are looking forward to seeing Bowen and his special talents back on the big stage tomorrow and in the future, but some of his Indigenous All Stars team-mates too.
Five-eighth Scott Prince and prop George Rose both said Bowen was one of the key players they were looking forward to playing with tomorrow night.
Prince said: "There are players from both teams that the crowd loves for their freakish ability. I'm excited. It's like I have a front row seat.
"Matt Bowen would be in my top five pick. He has the ability to turn a game on its head. It's freakish stuff."
Rose said: "Matt Bowen is someone I have always watched. For as long as I have played I don't think I have watched anyone as exciting as he is."