North Queensland Cowboys training from the Townsville Sports Reserve. Enari Tuala. Picture: Zak Simmonds
North Queensland Cowboys training from the Townsville Sports Reserve. Enari Tuala. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Saturdays are for the Cowboys as centre battle heats up

COWBOYS young gun Enari Tuala says he's ready to go the extra mile to lock down a centre position for next season as he spends his Saturdays doing extra conditioning work.

Tuala played 10 games for the Cowboys last season, but he insisted his place in the NRL squad was far from assured given the club's wealth of options in the outside backs.

Justin O'Neill, Javid Bowen, and Ben Hampton all have experience in the centres while new recruits Tom Opacic and Dan Russell are keen to make their marks in North Queensland.

Tuala said he took a lot of confidence from his performances at NRL level last season, but he felt he still had to improve his fitness to show why he deserves to be there come round one.

"I've learnt a lot and I've had a bit of time to think about it and put it into action at training here," he said.

North Queensland Cowboys training from the Townsville Sports Reserve. Enari Tuala. Picture: Zak Simmonds
North Queensland Cowboys training from the Townsville Sports Reserve. Enari Tuala. Picture: Zak Simmonds

"I think the speed of the game (is the biggest adjustment). It's faster than the Q-Cup games I was playing earlier in the year and I just needed to adapt to that level.

"I reckon my fitness is something I need to work on … I'm doing the extras - training on Saturdays - and I think it's paying off.

"I have to train hard, turn up with the right attitude, and just be more confident."

Winger Kyle Feldt said he was none the wiser as to who will partner him on the right edge next season, but he was excited to see how that competition in the centres plays out.

"That's one position I'd hate to be playing for," Feldt said.

"There's definitely a lot (of rivalry between the centres). No one's been set in stone yet, it's up for grabs.

"Whoever trains the best in this preseason leading into the trials is going to get the bickies in round one so it's going to be good to watch."

News Corp Australia


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