Cowboys centre Kane Linnett.

Green makes tough call on Linnett as Cowboys prepare for life after JT

With Johnathan Thurston bringing down the curtain on his glittering NRL career the Cowboys have today confirmed that the champion playmaker won't be the only one leaving the side at the end of 2018.

Several other players will not have their contracts renewed, including premiership-winning centre Kane Linnett.

Plenty of water has to go under the bridge before the 2019 season kicks off, but Cowboys coach Paul Green confirmed a few front-runners who have made strong statements for their selection.

"'Gids'[Gela-Mosby] has been in good from the last few weeks. He's sort of knuckled down on and off the field and he's scored a few tries so I'm probably dangling the carrot I suppose," Green said.

Gela-Mosby faced court this year for driving while unlicensed, but has redeemed himself to Green, being named in the 21 this week and also training on the wing.

"He's got his act together on and off the field and that's where his challenge is, he's putting it together on the field," Green said.

Gideon Gela-Mosby in action in 2017.
Gideon Gela-Mosby in action in 2017. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"He certainly has plenty of potency out there, plenty of speed, he's scored a few tries in the Intrust Super Cup, so I just want to let him know he's not far away.

Gela-Mosby isn't the only one pushing for a spot, with Queensland Cup players Murray Taulagi and Kurt Wilshire also on Green's radar.

"We've got some good young guys coming through... Murray Taulagi has been doing some good things, he's still young and young football wise too in terms of his experience," the coach said.

"He's had a good year so far and down the track we see those guys hopefully playing a bit more of a part in our first-grade team."

"Kurt is another one, he's 19 and played the year in Q Cup and done a really good job down there at Mackay.

"He was a guy that played well in the under-20s New South Wales v Queensland game as well, they're the guys who are the future of the club."

Unfortunately for Green the reality of bringing new players into top grade is that someone has to make way, and Linnett will be the first casualty of a side that has under-performed in 2018.

"It's not a good part of the job, especially with a guy like Kane. He's contributed heaps to our success over the last five years, certainly since I've been here, he's a good fella, a good guy to have around so it's not easy," Green said.