Cowboys name powerful Nines side
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.
The Cowboys won the inaugural tournament in 2014 and are clearly serious about adding a second trophy, with Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott the only big names missing from a squad that also sees club favourite Matt Bowen return for a one-off weekend in his old colours.
Michael Morgan, James Tamou, Jason Taumalolo, Gavin Cooper, Lachlan Coote and Jake Granville are just some of the high-profile Cowboys named to make the trip, which will also serve as a warm-up for the club's trip to the UK for the World Club Challenge a fortnight later.
NYC stars Gideon Gela-Mosby – who scored 39 tries in the Cowboys' 2015 under-20s campaign – and Coen Hess are also in the squad.