READY: Cowboys talent Jake Clifford.
READY: Cowboys talent Jake Clifford. MICHAEL CHAMBERS

Clifford to press claims for halves role in trial

RUGBY LEAGUE: A starting spot in the halves could still be a reality for Cowboys rising star Jake Clifford, with an impressive performance in a trial against the Titans to further press his claims.

Earlier in the week it was reported that Michael Morgan and Te Maire Martin were the favoured pairing for round one, however, coach Paul Green said he hasn't entirely ruled out Clifford.

"I'd mentioned Te Maire probably had his head in front at different stages when I got asked that question (who were round one halves) - which was quite a while back,” he said.

"But, Jake Clifford is a really good young player and a guy we think has got tremendous future so again he's got an opportunity (to impress in the trial).

"He is starting and will be playing the whole game there (halves), him and T (Martin), so we'll see how they go.”

When asked what Clifford needed to do in the trial, at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, to get over the line for the No.7 jersey, Green simply answered "play well”.

Green said he would still play Ethan Lowe in Saturday's trial, despite rumours of his possible departure to Souths.

"No-one has told me he is moving at this stage, so as far as I am concerned he is still at the Cowboys,” he said.

Gympie's Carlin Anderson will be among a wealth of rising talent set to hit the field on the night and Green was keen to see what they had to offer.

"He's (Anderson) got a great opportunity starting at fullback. The ball is in his court,” Green said.

"But, there's some young outside backs there and they've got a real opportunity to stick their hand up too.

"We've got both centres Javid Bowen and Enari Tuala, Gideon (Gela-Mosby) on the wing and young fella Murray Taulagi on the other wing.

"So, I'm excited to see what they bring.”

An experienced forward pack is set to lace up in the trial, but Green said their appearance was more to do with match fitness.

"It's the first hit out so for them its just blowing out the cobwebs,” he said.

"It's good to finally have a game. It's been probably a longer than normal pre-season, even though we missed the finals last year, the period post-Christmas has been longer too.

"There were no (players in) Nines and we didn't have anyone involved in the All Stars so it's been the longest period without a game for our club.”

Cowboys and Titans will clash from 5pm at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday.



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