Cowboys aim up to replace Scott and Taumalolo
The North Queensland Cowboys are confident that the whole team will lift to make up for the absence of injured captain Matt Scott and fullback Lachlan Coote, as well as the suspended Jason Taumalolo.
Although Scott is absent from the field for the rest of 2017, coach Paul Green has spoken about his strong influence off the field.
"His leadership in the club and in the team, nothing changes off the field in that area," Green said.
"Certainly we won't be able to lean on him on the field anymore for this season, but definitely off the field he'll still play a massive part in our leadership program."
Five-eighth Michael Morgan is similarly confident in the new players, as well as the team's commitment to lifting to cover the loss of the two international forwards.
"They're both huge losses," Morgan said.
"It will be different, they've been there for every game in the last couple of years pretty much besides the rep footy.
"They're two leaders within our forward pack, but I suppose it's an opportunity for a couple of other guys to come in."
Morgan believes the new players will have the same commitment to the team and desire to seize the opportunity to make an impression in the NRL.
"They've all worked hard through the preseason. Everyone talks about wanting to take their opportunity when it's presented to them so this is their chance," he said.
The Cowboys are also confident that the responsibility of the two forwards won't fall on two players.
"I don't think it's any one person's responsibility, there's a couple of guys that have been playing [Queensland] Cup and that kind of thing this year and will come in," Morgan said.
"It's not any one person's role to come in and do that, it's very hard to do… Jason's [Taumalolo] one of a kind in a way. As a team everyone will have to give an extra little bit here and there when it's their opportunity to do so."
Paul Green has called up Kalyn Ponga, Javid Bowen and Sam Hoare to the NRL side, and has named Patrick Kaufusi as his starting prop alongside Scott Bolton. It is unclear who will replace Taumalolo at lock, with Shaun Fensom named 18th man on Tuesday.