Texts from Johnathan Thurston and other former North Queensland Toyota Cowboys teammates have been the catalyst in Origin hero Matthew Bowen making his NRL comeback at the 2016 NRL Auckland Nines next weekend.

Bowen, 33, has been named to make his swansong appearance for the club in Auckland next weekend.

Bowen retired from the National Rugby League at the end of the 2013 season having played 270 games for the Cowboys and 10 State of Origin games for Queensland.

He returned with his family to North Queensland this month and has taken up a role at the club as a community engagement officer.

Bowen said he was thrilled to get the chance to be able to run around in his old team colours.

“Johnno (Johnathan Thurston) and a few of the other boys were texting me when I was over in England asking me if I would be keen to play,” Bowen said.

“And I always said that if Greeny (head coach Paul Green) asked me, I would.

“My first day back at the club, he asked me to play in the Nines, and I jumped at the opportunity.”

Bowen said he had been training with the team and was confident his fitness levels would be up to scratch.

The Nines will be played on Saturday and Sunday, 6-7 February, with the Cowboys drawn in the Rangitoto Pool alongside the Knights, Panthers and Wests Tigers.

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