MARYBOROUGH's North Queensland Cowboy Nick Brown has retained his place in the National Youth Competition's starting side.
The 19-year-old will line up alongside Bundaberg's Cody Maughan as the Cowboys chase a grand final berth against the minor premiership-winning Penrith Panthers.
Brown, who played all of his junior footy for Maryborough Brothers, linked with the Cowboys three years ago.
He played for Townsville Stingers' under-18s team in their national championship triumph in 2014.
Brown played three Holden Cup games last year but was sidelined for 17 weeks this season with a serious injury.
The front-rower tore a tendon in his hamstring, and was shelved until the last weeks of the regular season.
He returned to action from the bench, but started for the first time since his injury in last week's semi final win.