North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green is confident that Javid Bowen and the team will be served well by his prior experience when the centre lines up against Jarryd Hayne and the Gold Coast Titans this weekend.
Bowen played four games for the Cowboys between Round 3 and 6 when Justin O'Neill was out injured. The Cowboys' first-coice centre was concussed during State of Origin I, giving Bowen another opportunity to take the field for North Queensland.
Bowen played for the Cowboys the last time they met the Titans in Round 4, but spent the night matching up against Konrad Hurrell when the Cowboys won 32-26. Bowen's defence has been a highlight of his performances, and he'll need to slot in with the players around him if the Cowboys are to stop Hayne from devastating the Cowboys on the edge.
"It's part of playing footy this time of year, you've always got that risk when you've got guys involved in Origin," Green said.
"Javid will come in, he played against them last time. He's done a good job when he's come in previously so I don't expect that to change."
Bowen's development hinges on NRL game time, and Green is happy to give him the opportunities when they present themselves to further improve his skills.
"It's part of his learning curve. I think he can bring a lot to the game on Saturday night so I'm excited about that," he said.
There are also doubts whether Hayne, as well as Titans and New South Wales hooker Nathan Peats, will back-up for the Titans, but the possible changes aren't affecting the preparation of the Cowboys.
"We'll prepare as if [Peats] will play and if he doesn't we'll deal with that," Green said.
"I don't think (Hayne being out) changes the way they play as a team as such, but I'm not sure how he pulled up so we'll see."