North Queensland have been given a pre-finals boost with prop James Tamou named to play in Saturday’s NRL clash with Gold Coast.
The NSW State of Origin forward missed last weekend’s loss to Melbourne after injuring his neck the previous week during the Cowboys’ big win over the Warriors in Auckland.
Despite concerns Tamou may have aggravated the neck issue he had operated on in the off-season, Cowboys coach Paul Green says the 26-year-old’s scans have come back clear.
Tamou’s return is a boost for the Cowboys heading into the finals, with playmaker Michael Morgan’s return from an ankle injury still up in the air.
Green says he has no fears Tamou’s ongoing concerns over his neck will affect his on-field competitiveness.
“Obviously with the operation in the pre-season when he got hurt he was a bit more cautious than normal,” Green said.
“(We) followed due process. He got scans. They came up clear, no damage, or no new damage if you like, and his power and strength is normal and it’s symmetrical, both sides of his body.
“So as far it goes, he’s ready to go.”
The Cowboys head into Saturday’s clash with the Titans knowing they will almost certainly finish the season in third place.
Defeat to the Storm last weekend left Brisbane and the Sydney Roosters scrapping it out for the minor premiership.
The Titans head north on the back of consecutive home wins but Green says he’s not bothered about the form or otherwise of his opponents in the final regular season match of the year.
“Just about putting our game together consistently,” he said.
“We’ve been really good in all parts of our game but not altogether in the one game, if that makes sense.
“I thought our defence and our resolve, particularly on the tryline, was excellent last week but our kicking game and our attack probably was off.
“The week before our kicking was good, our attack was good but our tryline defence was off.
“It’s about putting a good 80 minute performance together and just making sure all parts of our game are near their best.”