North Queensland coach Paul Green will thrust new signing Matthew Wright straight into the deep end, naming the former Shark on an extended bench for Saturday night's trial against the Broncos in Redcliffe just hours after signing him to a one-year deal.
The 23-year-old completed a whirlwind arrival at Townsville by signing a one-year contract on Tuesday morning that will go a long way towards filling the vacancy created by the recent sacking of Wayne Ulugia.
Wright was due to have his first training session with his new teammates on Tuesday afternoon and will line up alongside them on Saturday night, including fellow new recruits Lachlan Coote and Cameron King.
“It’s been a really quick process,” said Wright, who has played 62 NRL games and came off the bench in the Sharks' NSW Cup grand final win last year.
“The Cowboys had a vacancy to fill and I’m happy they’ve chosen me so I continue my career up here.
“I already know a couple of the boys and I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of them this afternoon before training.”
The faces at Cowboys HQ are not all unfamiliar to Wright, who played alongside King and Tariq Sims in the 2010 Junior Kangaroos.
Anthony Mitchell has been given first opportunity to impress in the contentious No.9 position while Mackay Cutters signing Doug Hewitt will fill Johnathan Thurston's 'golden' boots at five-eighth. Kangaroos World Cup stars Thurston, Matt Scott, James Tamou and Brent Tate have all been given more time to prepare for the start of the season having only resumed training a month ago.
Michael Morgan (shoulder/ankle) and Hezron Murgha (knee) were both not considered for selection as they continue their recovery process following off-season surgeries.
Cowboys squad for Saturday night's trial against Brisbane at Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe: Lachlan Coote, Kyle Feldt, Javid Bowen, Kane Linnett, Curtis Rona, Doug Hewitt, Robert Lui, Scott Bolton, Anthony Mitchell, Ashton Sims, Jason Taumalolo, Tariq Sims, John Asiata. Interchange: Zac Santo, Rory Kostjasyn, Ricky Thorby, Glenn Hall, Sam Hoare, Cameron King, Ethan Lowe, Matthew Wright, Patrick Kaufusi.