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In a daily series analysing who will line up in each position for all 16 teams in the opening round of the Telstra Premiership in 2020, NRL.com looks at the North Queensland Cowboys.

NRL.com says: Big-money recruit Valentine Holmes looks certain to start at fullback, which means last year's mid-season buy Scott Drinkwater likely replaces Jake Clifford in the halves for the start of the season. Reece Robson is a big chance of unseating Jake Granville. Former Tigers star Esan Marsters will start alongside former Maroons centre Justin O'Neill with Paul Green contemplating a curve ball move of Ben Hampton on the wing.

Jamie Soward says: I'd bring Tom Opacic in for Justin O'Neill and Murray Taulagi on the wing for Hampton. They've just really lacked spark in the backline and need some bigger, younger bodies there. Jake Clifford needs to partner Michael Morgan in the halves so unfortunately there's no spot for Drinkwater and Reece Robson will start so I can't find a spot for Granville. I've got Corey Jensen and Tom Gilbert in on the bench with Coen Hess out of the side.

NRL.com's predicted Cowboys round 1 team

  1. Valentine Holmes
  2. Kyle Feldt
  3. Esan Marsters
  4. Justin O'Neill
  5. Ben Hampton
  6. Scott Drinkwater
  7. Michael Morgan
  8. Jordan McLean
  9. Jake Granville
  10. Josh McGuire
  11. Gavin Cooper
  12. Shane Wright
  13. Jason Taumalolo

  14. John Asiata
  15. Coen Hess
  16. Reece Robson
  17. Francis Molo

Others: Jake Clifford, Reuben Cotter, Mitchell Dunn, Tom Gilbert, Peter Hola, Corey Jensen, Connelly Lemuelu, Tom Opacic, Emry Pere, Daniel Russell, Tukimihia Simpkins, Murray Taulagi