His family moniker is already synonymous with North Queensland but Javid Bowen has a chance to make a name for himself in Saturday night’s NRL top three clash with Melbourne.
The nephew of Cowboys great Matt Bowen may be considered a stand-in for North Queensland winger Kyle Feldt, who is serving a three-game ban.
But Cowboys centre Justin O’Neill believes Bowen has what it takes to answer the biggest challenge of his five-game NRL career to date – Melbourne flyer Marika Koroibete.
“Jango (Bowen) will be coming up against someone he has not played before with his speed and strength,” O’Neill said.
“It will be a test but I think he is up for it if we work together.”
Bowen will line up against the 180cm, 93kg wrecking ball in a showdown that may yet determine the top three clash in Townsville.
Koroibete looms as an X-factor along with the Storm’s other Fijian flyer, Suliasi Vunivalu.
Together, the Melbourne wingers have notched 27 tries and 26 line breaks this season for second placed Melbourne.
Bowen also knows his way to the try-line.
He notched his fourth try in his fifth game – last round’s 36-0 romp over the Bulldogs.
He ran 147m against Canterbury in his first game as Feldt’s replacement, and added one line break and two tackle busts.
But it is Bowen’s defence that will need to impress, O’Neill said.
Queensland centre O’Neill said he would do his best to help Bowen beside him in the defensive line.
“He is one of the younger boys and not the biggest talker so we get him to talk as much as he can, that gets him into the game,” he said.
“But he definitely has an attacking spark.”
O’Neill said they would all need to lift defensively if they were to end Melbourne’s four-game winning run.
Besides Koroibete, Vunivalu is in sight of Israel Folau’s record for most tries in a rookie season.
Vunivalu has used his amazing aerial dominance to nail 17 tries with six games remaining.
Folau crossed for an impressive 21 tries in 27 games in his first NRL season back in 2007 – also with Melbourne.
“Vunivalu has been flying in and creaming guys,” O’Neill said.
“We will all have to watch out.”