Enari Tuala has been given his first crack in the top grade this season. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Enari Tuala has been given his first crack in the top grade this season. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Cowboys make major change in effort to weather the Storm

COWBOYS winger Javid Bowen has been dropped to Queensland Cup to make way for boom youngster Enari Tuala ahead of the side's clash with Melbourne Storm on Friday night.

The nephew of club legend Matt Bowen, the winger had a torrid time in the Cowboys last-round loss to Canberra Raiders.

Bowen made two handling errors inside the opening five minutes of the game which led directly to tries for the visiting side.

Bowen's departure from the top grade has opened the door for electrifying 20-year-old Tuala who comes into the centres with backline utility Ben Hampton shifting to the wing.

Cairns-born Tuala has played 11 games in the top grade for the Cowboys after making his debut as an 18-year-old in the 2017 season.

While the youngster started the season in the Queensland Cup for Northern Pride, Cowboys coach Paul Green said he had been demanding promotion to the top grade.

"I think Enari has been knocking on the door for a while so it was more about giving him a crack," Green said.

"(The Pride) didn't have a great game last week but up until then he has been really consistent. He had a few things to work on which we asked him to do, he has gotten those boxes ticked so he gets his chance."

Javid Bowen has been dropped. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Javid Bowen has been dropped. Picture: Zak Simmonds

In a similar vein to fellow outside back Nene Macdonald, Tuala is expected to offer plenty of starch to the Cowboys go forward with his barnstorming carries.

Green has given the 20-year-old a simple mission for the blockbuster clash with the competition heavyweights Melbourne.

"I want to see him contribute, I want to see him bring to the team what he is good at," Green said.

"He has good strong carrying yardage, he is a handful and he can pass the footy and set players up around him. He makes good decisions defensively and he is confident that way.

"He needs to bring that to the team; that is what we need at the moment."

Embattled five-eighth Jake Clifford has retained his spot in the halves opposite captain Michael Morgan while Te Maire Martin remains at fullback.

The Cowboys forward pack also remains unchanged as they continue to muscle up as a group in the absence of former Dally M medallist Jason Taumalolo.

News Corp Australia