Reuben Cotter (centre) is seen at a North Queensland Cowboys pre-season training session held at the Townsville Sports Reserve in Townsville, Monday, November 12, 2018.
Reuben Cotter (centre) is seen at a North Queensland Cowboys pre-season training session held at the Townsville Sports Reserve in Townsville, Monday, November 12, 2018. MICHAEL CHAMBERS

Dream return for Cowboys' rising star after injury hiatus

RUGBY LEAGUE: Cowboys rising star Reuben Cotter has renewed hunger for the year ahead after making his long-awaited return to the field.

The 19-year-old hooker has spent the majority of the past three years battling back-to-back ACL injuries and earned much-deserved game time during the Cowboys' pre-season trial against Titans on Saturday night at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

It was an emotional experience for Cotter, but one he relished.

"It was unreal,” he said.

"I was just itching to get on the field. I went on in the back end of the second half but it was just good to finally get out there and get my hands on the ball again.”

It's Cotter's first year as part of the Cowboys senior squad, and he admitted there had been some butterflies leading up to the trial.

"There were definitely some nerves,” he said.

"I was most nervous on the bus trip here and sitting on the bench too for a while there was a few nerves but I think once I ran out there and got through my first set I was good to go.”

He was kept busy for the time he was out there and believed it had been a good hit-out considering his time away from the field.

"I thought I played alright towards 10mins being on there, but there's definitely a few things to work on,” he said.

It's got him hungry for the season ahead, which will likely involve plenty of time with the Mackay Cutters in the Intrust Super Cup. "To play some consistent footy (is the plan) and just try and get a few games under my beltand get my match fitness back,” he said.

"But, I just want to have a good season with the Cutters and hopefully somewhere in there is a move to the Cowboys (game squad).”

Reuben was among a bevy of young talent to hit the field in the trial, with both the Cowboys and Titans testing their depth.



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