BEANIE THERE, DONE THAT: Johnathan Thurston and his Cowboys teammates go through their paces during a training session at Leeds University this week.
BEANIE THERE, DONE THAT: Johnathan Thurston and his Cowboys teammates go through their paces during a training session at Leeds University this week.

Cowboys saddle up for shot at world domination

After going 20 years without a celebration, North Queensland is burning to claim the title of "world's best" against English Super League champion Leeds at the famous Headingley ground early on Monday morning.

Leeds will have to cause a major boilover to win, given a spate of injuries to key players in the opening two rounds of this season's Super League competition.

Not even predictions of snow and a sell- out crowd can help Leeds, which will have to produce something exceptional to beat the Cowboys, who want to cash in on their winning vein before superstar Johnathan Thurston hangs up his boots in a few years.

Leeds can become the most successful club from the UK, or Australia, if it can add the 2016 World Club Challenge title to previous victories in 2005 (beating the Bulldogs), 2008 (Melbourne Storm) and 2012 (Manly).

The Cowboys are aiming to become the fourth-consecutive Australian side to lift the trophy after the Storm (2013), Roosters (2014) and Rabbitohs (2015) all triumphed.

Jockey-sized halfback Rob Burrow is a Leeds legend who has played in the last six World Club Challenge finals for the club.

Thurston, arguably the best player in the world, said he was excited by the opportunity to play against Burrow, who is a real crowd favourite with English fans.

English international Brett Ferres will play in his second WCC final, 10 years after being part of the Bradford Bulls side which beat Wests Tigers. "They've got a massive pack, some fast outside backs and Johnathan Thurston as well," Ferres said.

He said after a big loss last weekend the players were looking to the Cowboys game to hit back hard.


Southwest drug user drives 670+km for supplies, defends use

Premium Content Southwest drug user drives 670+km for supplies, defends use

A southwest Queensland man who travelled to the Sunshine Coast to buy drugs has...

Mum's last opportunity to sort out probation woes

Premium Content Mum's last opportunity to sort out probation woes

A Roma court has heard the woman has a repeated history of disregarding probation...

42,500 building licences ‘ripped up within weeks’

Premium Content 42,500 building licences ‘ripped up within weeks’

A warning has been issued to tens of thousands of builders