Coote and Granville named for Cowboys
The North Queensland Cowboys will receive a welcome boost with fullback Lachlan Coote and hooker Jake Granville both named to take on the Bulldogs in Round 10.
Despite being named in his usual position, Granville is not a certainty to play, and must complete a few final tests in the Cowboys' captain's run on Wednesday. Coote is confirmed to be 100 per cent fit, and will bring a stronger positional game to the Cowboys' defence.
John Asiata has also been named in the starting front row, while Ray Thompson has been moved to halfback to replace the injured Johnathan Thurston. Green is looking for a strong defensive effort against the Bulldogs, and is optimistic that Thompson's experience and defensive nuance will help keep the aggressive Bulldogs forwards on a tight leash.
"It's good to have a couple of the guys back… very pleased. Defensively [Coote] did a really good job for us there at the back getting our line organised particularly around the try line and his positional play is pretty good," Green said.
"[Granville] tightens up our middle defensively in particular. That was probably a real big area that he was missed most while he was out."
The Cowboys' defence will be much improved over their lacklustre performances in previous weeks, and workhorse Shaun Fensom's return should help, as he averages just shy of 20 tackles in a typical 30 minutes of game time.
John Asiata has earned his position in the middle of the starting side after several weeks playing at halfback, and he'll need to be at his best to match it with the likes of James Graham and David Klemmer.
"I want him to play well at lock. He's been mixed and matched around a bit due to injuries in recent weeks. We need everyone to knuckle down and just start getting their roles right in games," Green said.
Asiata's ball playing skills coupled with his strong running game could worry the Bulldogs on Thursday night, especially with some extra time on the field.