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Queensland fan favourite and FOG 138 Matt Bowen has returned from the UK to the familiar climes of North Queensland – and there is already talk of him returning to the field for his beloved Cowboys.

Last year’s NRL premiership-winning coach Paul Green spoke to the media last week and while he remained tight-lipped on Bowen’s chances of a run at the Nines – he spoke highly of him in his new role as a mentor to the younger Cowboys players. 

“He’s got to pass a beep test, so that might rule him out!” Green quipped. 

“Matty’s started with us at the club here in a community role, and we would be mad not to use a guy with his experience as a mentor for some of our young guys.

“I know all the players get a real kick out of having him out there on the training paddock; I’m sure some of the advice he has got to offer to some of our young up-and-comers will be greatly appreciated by those guys.”

Green said he would normally use the tournament as an opportunity to give younger players “a little bit of experience” – throwing the names of Junior Queensland representative’s Coen Hess and Gideon Gela in the mix for a call-up. 

However, Origin stars and co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott would not be risked at the tournament – with Green looking towards the upcoming World Club Series in England.