North Queensland Cowboys are facing selection woes as coach Paul Green looks for an answer at fullback after Ben Barba was recently banished by the team.
In addition to the search for a reliable No. 1 option, the recent floods throughout Townsville and the surrounding suburbs has caused turmoil for the Cowboys training schedule – forcing them onto school ovals and basketball courts.
“We haven’t trained for two weeks, properly,” Green told the club website.
“The timing has been really challenging, but there are a couple of guys that have played there before and there are also some guys there that have the skill to do a good job there that haven’t played there since junior footy.”
With only a small timeline to find Barba’s replacement, the Cowboys may potentially look to the open market to find their full-back for the beginning of the season.
Green would also take Te Maire Martin or Ben Hampton into consideration.
“Going to market is an option but we just have to make sure whatever way we go is the right thing for us.”
Disruptions to the Cowboys training routine set them back for the build-up to their opening trial matches. The Cowboys will travel to the Sunshine Coast to play the Gold Coast Titans next Saturday, followed by a second trial against the Melbourne Storm on March 2.
Green was eager to give plenty of minutes to the younger crop of players for the Titans trial, however he is now looking to field veteran Cowboys to help decide who will fill that full-back role and get his side back on track.
“Had we not have had the disruption or the two weeks where we were affected by the rain, I probably would have played a lot more rookies.” Green said.