McLean arrival gives Cowboys pack ominous look
NORTH Queensland back-rower Gavin Cooper has tipped new recruit Jordan McLean to form a destructive alliance with returning Test prop Matt Scott and Tongan juggernaut Jason Taumalolo this NRL season.
He has even given them a nickname.
"Hopefully he (McLean), Thumper (Scott) and Jase form a little wolf pack," Cooper said.
"Hopefully they start rolling off the back of each other and it will be exciting to watch."
Kangaroos prop McLean will don the Cowboys colours for the first time against his former club in Friday's grand final rematch at Suncorp Stadium.
The trial will double as a testimonial for Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith and Cowboys playmaker Johnathan Thurston.
But McLean, 26, also has the Cowboys buzzing after arriving in Townsville on the back of a dream 2017 that included a Melbourne premiership and the Kangaroos' Rugby League World Cup triumph.
Cooper says the Cowboys are excited about their prospects, claiming McLean had finally filled the void created by former Test prop James Tamou's departure to Penrith.
Tamou is starting his second season with the Panthers.
"I don't want to say we missed a big body last year but since Jimmy (Tamou) left a couple of years ago we haven't really replaced that big body in the middle of the field but we have done that now with Macca," Cooper said.
"He'd be excited to get the first game out of the way in Cowboys colours and he looks really sharp at training."
McLean looks set to get his first chance to combine with Scott, who made a comeback from a knee injury in last weekend's trial loss to Wests Tigers in Cairns.
Scott played 20 minutes against the Tigers in his first game since breaking down in round two last year.
Despite Scott's absence, prop Scott Bolton stood up to help North Queensland book a surprise grand final appearance.