Cowboys workhorse named to make comeback
COWBOYS workhorse Shaun Fensom will be rushed straight back into the NRL side to face his former club Canberra this weekend after making a successful injury return through the Queensland Cup.
Fensom has been named on the bench for Saturday night's clash at 1300SMILES Stadium as the replacement for injured forward John Asiata, who had surgery for a pectoral tear on Tuesday.
Fensom hasn't played for the Cowboys since last year's grand final when he suffered a horrific broken leg, but the 29-year-old insists he's ready to make a comeback following an impressive stint with the Townsville Blackhawks last weekend.
The tough-as-nails backrower made 52 metres from his five runs along with a perfect 21-from-21 tackles as the Blackhawks claimed a 30-16 win over the Norths Devils.
Fensom admitted his match fitness still needed some work, but said he had full confidence in his surgically-repaired leg as he prepares to tackle the hulking Raiders pack this weekend.
"The lungs were burning there at certain stages, but I'm confident in my leg," Fensom said.
"Canberra have got a couple of big boys there and I'm sure they'll try to roll up through the middle so I'll just try to clean things up and be as disciplined as I can.
"I've been playing footy all my life and that's what I know so if I get called upon that's what I'll do."
Cowboys coach Paul Green admitted he would've liked Fensom to play a few more games with the Blackhawks before recalling him to the NRL, but he was confident the 160-game veteran was up to the challenge.
"He's got the job done for us in the past and I went and watched him play on Sunday and I think he played pretty well," Green said.
"It was his first game back so he's obviously going to lack a bit of match fitness, but he's a pretty tough sort of character so it's good to have him back.
"It would've been nice for him to get a couple more games under his belt before we picked him, but we don't have that luxury at the moment.
"We considered a couple of different options there, but I think we need to pick our best players and he's probably that.
"He's very good at those little, tough areas of the game and I think he'll make a big difference for us."
Cowboys team to play Raiders: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O'Neill, 4 Ben Hampton, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston, 8 Matt Scott, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo, 14 Te Maire Martin, 15 Shaun Fensom, 16 Corey Jensen, 17 Ethan Lowe. Reserves: 18 Francis Molo, 19, Jake Clifford, 20 Enari Tuala, 21 Sam Hoare.