Changes evident as Cowboys return to training

THERE was a bit of extra weight being lugged around the Cowboys training paddock on the first day back from the COVID-19 shutdown.

But it was not around the waist of the players. It was around the chin.

Isolation forced several players into hairy situations, and the evidence was on full display on the first session back at Cowboys HQ.

 

Coen Hess has shaved the top and let the bottom grow out as the North Queensland Cowboys players returned to training at Cowboys HQ. Picture: Cowboys Media
Coen Hess has shaved the top and let the bottom grow out as the North Queensland Cowboys players returned to training at Cowboys HQ. Picture: Cowboys Media

 

Both Coen Hess and Valentine Holmes sported a rugged new look as well as captain Michael Morgan who has brought back the beard that brought a bit of success toward the back end of last season.

While it might not help out on the aerodynamic front, it will definitely add a fierceness to the Cowboys squad and could have opponents second guessing when the season comes back.

But it wasn't just on the field where the changes were evident, with several of the Cowboys staff also banding together over the COVID-19 shutdown with their own bristly pact. It is understood, courtesy of one of those staff members who will remain nameless to protect his chin, that the beards came off as the club returned to training this week.

It wasn't just on the bottom of the heads that changes were afoot, with versatile forward John Asiata standing out from the crowd on the first day with his bleached mop.

Valentine Holmes has also gone with a more rugged loom for the return to the NRL season. Picture: Cowboys Media
Valentine Holmes has also gone with a more rugged loom for the return to the NRL season. Picture: Cowboys Media

Asiata, who stood up for the Cowboys during the coronavirus shutdown as one of the playing groups' representatives in the player pay discussions, has joined a group of players from across the league to add a blinding touch of style.

It is a list of players that includes Penrith's Api Koroisau, South Sydney duo James Roberts and Adam Reynolds as well as Sharks speedster Bronson Xerri.

John Asiata showing the mop matches the boots as North Queensland Cowboys players returned to training at Cowboys HQ on Wednesday. Picture: Cowboys Media
John Asiata showing the mop matches the boots as North Queensland Cowboys players returned to training at Cowboys HQ on Wednesday. Picture: Cowboys Media

There is speculation among NRL circles the bleached look could be a nod to cult sensation 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic, but we are yet to get confirmation from the man himself.

No matter the different looks on show, the Cowboys will all be ripping in on the training paddock over the next three weeks as they prepare to restart the season with a bang.

Originally published as Changes evident as Cowboys come back


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