Hess to start in reshuffled Cowboys pack
The North Queensland Cowboys have restructured their forwards rotation ahead of their Round 3 clash with the Manly Sea Eagles on Saturday night.
Ethan Lowe will move from the second row to at lock to cover the suspended Jason Taumalolo, with Coen Hess moving into the starting second row position. With Patrick Kaufusi already confirmed to start at prop, Sam Hoare and recent signing Shaun Fensom will start on the bench.
"[Fensom] is really excited, it's a big occasion for him in his Cowboys career. He's played plenty of first grade but he's pretty keen," Cowboys coach Paul Green said.
Green is also confident that Lowe's powerful running and tackling game will fit in well at the back of the scrum.
"Hopefully [he'll bring] aggression, work rate and he can certainly play some minutes and he's getting to that level of experience now where he's not a rookie anymore," he said.
The other notable addition to the team is long-time Cowboy Sam Hoare, who will return to the NRL after a series of injuries cut his progress short in 2015.
"I'm really excited about Sam, what he'll bring. He had a really good off-season and his trial form was excellent there's only a split hair between him and [Kaufusi]," Green said.
"[Kaufusi] is starting this week and that could very well be Sam Hoare… Now he gets his chance, I'd like to see him take it with both hands, so I'm really excited about it."
The Cowboys' other front-rower, Scott Bolton, is looking forward to combing with Hoare on Saturday night.
"It's a long road back for [Hoare] from last year, so I'm looking forward to playing alongside him and hopefully he can get out there and do his job," Bolton said.
Bolton is also looking forward to seeing Hess's performance when he starts on the field against Manly.
"He's a big, big human so I'm sure he'll cause some dramas out there, out wide running of [Morgan]," Bolton said.