Taumalolo relishes McGuire Cowboys arrival
Jason Taumalolo (pictured) says he has no problem giving up the No.13 jersey to North Queensland's prized recruit Josh McGuire (AAP Image/Michael Chambers)
He's one of the world's most devastating locks but Jason Taumalolo says he has no problem giving up the No.13 jersey to North Queensland's prized recruit Josh McGuire.
Tongan powerhouse Taumalolo admits he may take on a different role in 2019 following the off-season arrival of Kangaroos lock McGuire in Townsville.
However, Taumalolo believes the pair will be able to complement each other on the field and make the Cowboys pack one of the NRL's most feared.
McGuire has hit the ground running in Townsville since seeking a surprise Brisbane release and signing a four-year Cowboys deal.
His arrival has boosted an already formidable pack also featuring ex-Test prop Matt Scott, Kangaroos front-rower Jordan McLean and Queensland back-rowers Coen Hess and Gavin Cooper.
Taumalolo said it ensured Cowboys coach Paul Green faced a welcome selection headache ahead of their NRL season opener.
Asked if McGuire's arrival might mean a role change for him in 2019, Taumalolo said: "I don't mind.
"Obviously Moose (McGuire) is one of the best locks in the game.
"Greeny has a decision to make on how he wants to use me and Moose around the park.
"It wouldn't bother me much (losing No.13 jersey) as long as us two are on the field it is a good sign for the club."
Rather than feel threatened, former Dally M Medallist Taumalolo has welcomed McGuire's arrival, saying it was the boost the club needed after they were relegated to a shock 13th place finish last season.
"Last year was definitely one of my worst years playing NRL," Taumalolo said.
"The boys would love to make up for that.
"But the addition of Moose is pretty big. I think that will lock up our forward rotation for the next few years."
Taumalolo believed McGuire's presence had made their pack become one of the NRL's most formidable, ensuring a target on their backs in 2019.
But he backed the Cowboys' all-star forwards to rise to the challenge after they wilted under the weight of early premiership favouritism in 2018.
"We found that out (last season) with Macca (McLean's arrival in 2018 from Melbourne) - we had a target on our backs," he said.
"This year will be no different with Moose in the forward pack.
"There are heaps of good forward packs in the competition.
"It can either work for you or against you at times. Hopefully this year it will be one of the times it works for us."
© AAP 2019