Drinkwater seeks new role for Cowboys
Scott Drinkwater has declared his intent to wear the No.6 jersey for the Cowboys when they run onto Queensland Country Bank Stadium against the Brisbane Broncos in their round one blockbuster.
Locked in a battle with Jake Clifford to partner Michael Morgan in the halves, Drinkwater has been training the house down since returning from knee surgery.
The minor procedure on his right meniscus meant he sat out the first five weeks of pre-season, but he hasn't missed a beat since getting back on the park.
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"I'm trying to attack every day as hard as I can, train hard and put my best foot forward for the coaches," Drinkwater said.
"When you're off you get excited to get back in with the boys."
With Drinkwater and Clifford swapping in and out of the five-eighth role at training, the 22-year-old admitted it may comedown to the trials to see who gets the nod for round one.
"You can train as good as you want but it all comes down to how you play footy," he said.
"The trials are going to be the main focus and I'm just going to keep putting in the hard effort."
Drinkwater was a ball-playing halfback growing up and was reluctantly moved into the fullback role during his stint at the Melbourne Storm.
He said his time spent at the back has an added an extra element to his game, one which could allow him to flourish as a five-eighth.
"When I moved to fullback I probably wasn't happy about going to fullback because I'd always played in the halves.
"But I really enjoyed it because it was something I could learn; but I probably am more comfortable playing in the halves.
"Going to fullback and getting my running game stronger really helped.
"I think coming back into the halves my running game will build a lot more and I can be a dangerous attacker with the ball passing and running."
With star signing Valentine Holmes locking down the fullback position, the Cowboys have a spine which will cause opposition defences headaches if they are able find their mojo.
"There's going to be a lot of strike weapons on the field," Drinkwater said.
"We've also got Esan (Masters) who does freakish things individually. I'm expecting our attack to be a lot better than it was last year."
Having completed multiple of the Melbourne Storm's notoriously tough pre-seasons, Drinkwater is midway through his first in North Queensland. Not surprisingly he said the heat is the biggest difference.
"This is tough. It takes it out of you and you've got to make sure you're hydrated everyday."
The Cowboys v Broncos round one game is on Friday, March 13.