North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green says his team are prepared to make the sacrifices needed to get the NRL back up and running. Picture: Evan Morgan
North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green says his team are prepared to make the sacrifices needed to get the NRL back up and running. Picture: Evan Morgan

Cowboys prepared to make necessary sacrifice

COWBOYS coach Paul Green says he has been galvanised by the mindset of his playing group, as the team prepares to make further sacrifices to get back on the park this season.

The consensus at the Cowboys, according to Green, is that the team is willing to relocate to New South Wales if it means getting the NRL up and running once again.

On Wednesday, ARL commissioner Wayne Pearce confirmed the competition would resume on May 28.

While the format is yet to be confirmed, it is understood the 16 clubs will play south of the Tweed and force teams in Queensland, Melbourne, Canberra and New Zealand to base themselves there.

Given the unprecedented and ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 situation, Green said it would be completely understandable if some of his players did not feel they could move from their families for an undetermined length of time. But thus far there had been no push back.

"There's a number of different industries where this situation we're in has absolutely wreaked havoc," Green said.

"Will it all be fair if teams have to relocate? Probably not, but it is what it is so if we want to get the footy back on board we need to deal with it.

"I think there's been some pretty tough lessons learned over the last few weeks and I think everyone realises now how and why we get paid, and that's to get on the paddock and play football."

The Cowboys are prepared to play out of New South Wales and maintain the momentum they had built prior to the season’s suspension. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
The Cowboys are prepared to play out of New South Wales and maintain the momentum they had built prior to the season’s suspension. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

The onus was put back on the players to keep training in preparation for when rugby league returned.

Each player was given programs to follow away from their teammates, and the time in isolation could present an opportunity for fringe players to stamp their case for a starting 17 jumper.

Green said should younger players return in an impressive condition it could present the chance to force their way into the team.

But the prospect of a shortened season could limit opportunities for clubs to blood new talent into their side, while also giving off-contract players limited exposure to prove they deserve a new deal.

The Cowboys mentor said the pandemic had presented different obstacles at all levels of the game, but the club already had a comprehensive understanding of what the playing group brought to the table.

"It certainly changes the way everyone has done business, so for some it will be an opportunity and for some it might put a little more pressure on them," Green said.

"If it was a significantly shortened season that would change the way you would approach it (team selections).

"Obviously you've got less time to work on team work so form is very important. It changes the way you prepare players and probably the way you approach games as well.

"(But) until you get everybody back together and do some testing physically so we can see where the players are at it's difficult to say."

Originally published as Cowboys prepared to make necessary sacrifice



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