Bowen wants Nines call-up
North Queensland Cowboys legend Matt Bowen has expressed his desire for one last swansong at the Downer Auckland Nines in two weeks' time.
Speaking in Sydney after being named in the NRL's 40-strong ambassadors group for 2016, Bowen has been slowly chipping away at training trying to convince coach Paul Green to give him a start.
"I'm training with the boys at the moment and trying to get a bit of fitness under my belt and we'll see what happens," Bowen told NRL.com.
"There's no real word really about whether I'll be going, so I'll have just to keep training and if Greeny wants me to play then I'm more than happy to.
"I can't wait, if it happens. I'm looking forward to putting that Cowboys jersey on again. It should be fun."
Fresh off three years in England at Super League heavyweights Wigan, Bowen returns to Australia to achieve something he's been trying to do since he was playing at the Cowboys – give back to the community.
With his newfound role at the NRL sitting nicely within his Community Development position at the reigning premiers, Bowen is excited to rip into life after football.
"[Community work] has been one of the things I really wanted to do while I was playing, and I didn't really get to due to playing commitments. But now I have the opportunity to do the ambassador stuff which should be good," Bowen said.
"Coming from a small community myself, we really didn't get the chance to meet an NRL player and have the opportunities to have these things.
"Playing and giving back to the game once you're retired work hand in hand. You build your brand while you're playing so you can use it later on. I'm looking forward to the task ahead and it should be an enjoyable one."
Bowen said the Cowboys' remarkable premiership win over 'big brother' the Broncos should make his job easier moving forward.
"As you'd know we have a big community to look after up there – west of Mount Isa, to the gulf and cape, PNG and Torres Strait – so it'll hopefully make my job easier after what they did last year," Bowen said.
"I just can't wait to get around to the different communities. They're still buzzing at the moment but what the club did last year was pretty great and hopefully the boys can back it up again this year, as well as win the World Club Challenge."