Stronger Nth Qld pack to be NRL 'targets'

Returning Cowboys prop Matt Scott predicts his forwards will carry a target in the 2018 NRL season. (AAP)

Matt Scott and Jordan McLean will add to a formidable North Queensland forward pack who Scott believes will draw plenty of attention in the 2018 NRL season.

Returning North Queensland NRL prop Matt Scott predicts his forward pack will carry a target into next season, given those set to suit up for the Cowboys.

The decorated Scott will make his return from a knee injury that had restricted him to two games last season, while Melbourne recruit Jordan McLean has settled into life well in Townsville.

Tongan wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo and tough-as-nails Scott Bolton did the business in the front row last season in Scott's absence, while Gavin Cooper, John Asiata, Coen Hess and Ethan Lowe all enhanced their reputations on the way to an against-the-odds grand-final appearance.

Shaun Fensom, recovering from a badly broken leg in the October 1 decider, completes a formidable list of forward options that isn't lost on Scott.

"It's not a bad rotation," Scott said.

"We might have a bit of a target on our head next year with some of the names we've got, but it's certainly an advantage."

Scott said McLean would add something different again to a forward pack looking to create more second-phase play next year.

"He adds a different dimension to the pack; he's a bit of a different body shape and that makes the team a bit harder to tackle," Scott said.

"But (offloading) is something we need to get better at ... we probably have a bit more of a power running game but some pre-line passing and post-contact offloads is definitely something we need to do more of."

Scott is expected to return to full training duties after Christmas and be available for the side's first trial on February 17 against the Wests Tigers in Cairns.

Source: AAP

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