Former Cowboy Ethan Lowe freely concedes he and Paul Green “butted heads”, but denied he is the source of rumours undermining the premiership-winning coach.
Lowe and the high-flying Rabbitohs will face his former team in Magic Round for the first time since he requested a release from North Queensland two months ago.
Reports of Green losing the dressing room this week prompted captain Michael Morgan and senior players into a public backing of their coach, denying any unrest leading into Friday’s pressure-relieving win over the Titans.
Privately the Cowboys believe a former player in the source of the rumours, but Lowe refuted suggestions he is the Sydney-based player behind the scuttlebutt.
“I haven’t spoken to the media in three or four weeks and every time I do it’s all-ins, people can look at my press conferences, there’s no issues there and I’ve got nothing to do with whatever’s going on,” Lowe told NRL.com.
“I was the one that asked for a release and I left the Cowboys happy.
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“If [Green] believes it’s me I’m happy to talk about it. He’s got my phone number, it hasn’t changed but maybe he should look a bit closer to home rather than worry about me”.
Lowe has made a new home at Redfern under Wayne Bennett, with Souths gunning for an eighth win in nine starts when they take on the Cowboys next Sunday.
The goal-kicking back-rower admits he and Green didn’t see eye to eye at times when he fell out of favour last year, playing a large portion of 2018 in reserve grade but still taking up an option in his favour to remain in Townsville this season.
But when Bennett’s assistant Jason Demetriou called with a first grade opportunity at the Bunnies, Lowe acknowledged his place in the Cowboys' pecking order behind Jason Taumalolo, Coen Hess and Gavin Cooper and packed his bags.
Lowe is anticipating a little extra feeling when he confronts his old teammates for the first time at Suncorp, but not because of any falling out with Green.
“I’m sure there will be a bit of fire in this one on both sides,” Lowe said.
“It’s natural isn’t it? That said, I think they’ll be focusing on their job rather than me, and we’ve got to do the same.
“I’m not going to lie, we butted heads at times a little bit.
“But I left on amicable terms I think. I loved my time up there, had a great few years and now I’m happy here so I’m fine with it.”