'We want them playing 100 NRL games'
NO SHANE Wright and no Mitch Dunn; both on Cowboys duty.
Skipper Cooper Bambling and boom international signing Lloyd White still sidelined through injury.
The Mackay Cutters' last-gasp win over reigning Intrust Super Cup premiers Redcliffe Dolphins at the weekend was testament to the depth coach Steve Sheppard has started to accrue at BB Print Stadium.
Jayden Batchelor was the hat-trick hero against Redcliffe. The unheralded centre quadrupled his Cutters try-scoring tally in one outing on Saturday night.
His place in the team was restored only after incumbent winger Marcus Jensen was forced out of the team through injury.
But Batchelor, just like the rest of his teammates, has shown he can be called upon to do a job when required.
This is not the same Cutters team which anchored the Intrust Super Cup table in 2018.
"Look at the people that are out,” Sheppard said. "Lloyd, Marcus and Kyle Kennedy . . . those three boys who are genuine Queensland Cup players.
"This squad - there's a bit of depth there.”
Former Cutters skipper Nicho Hynes was rewarded for his dominant form as a Sunshine Coast Falcon with an NRL contract from the Melbourne Storm earlier this month.
Reuben Cotter's impressive form at hooker in recent is was enough for Sheppard to declare the 20 year old is "not a far way off” a potential Cowboys debut.
"I like to think we played a part in Nicho's future there which is good,” Sheppard said.
"Wrighty played NRL (last weekend). We're getting these boys as close to NRL as possible which is good.
"I've said in the past, we don't want to be a club that makes people one or two-game NRL players. We want them to play 50 and 100 games.
"I think Wrighty and Dunny are well on the way there and Nicho has a big future. Reuben Cotter, he's not a far way off.”