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Gela-Mosby to get Cowboys NRL debut

NZN 21/03/2017 Laine Clark

The reason behind try-scoring winger Gideon Gela-Mosby's long-awaited NRL debut is pretty simple, North Queensland coach Paul Green reckons.

"We've got no one else left," he laughed.

But Green was deadly serious when he admitted he was worried about his reshuffled backline's inexperience ahead of Saturday night's away clash with Gold Coast.

An Auckland Nines sensation over the past two years, Gela-Mosby - just 19 - finally has the green light to play NRL, with Queensland centre Justin O'Neill joining the Cowboys' casualty ward.

O'Neill (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.

And Green is keeping his fingers crossed winger Kyle Feldt (knee, ankle) doesn't add to the injury list that also features fullback Lachlan Coote (calf) and winger Antonio Winterstein (arm).

The stage is set for one of the Cowboys' most-inexperienced backlines to run out against the Titans.

Besides Gela-Mosby, Javid Bowen - who has played just 12 games - slots in for O'Neill.

And Kalyn Ponga - still 18 - remains at fullback for Coote.

No wonder Green was concerned.

"That is a worry," he said. "But there's nothing I can do about it.

"The only way they can get experience is through playing.

"But this is an opportunity to bring a team and a club close together when you fight out a tough win against the odds."

Injury might have forced Green's hand but the Cowboys' coach backed Under-20s sensation Gela-Mosby to handle the step up.

Gela-Mosby is expected to threaten for the title of NRL's fastest after a record breaking NYC stint.

The Torres Strait-raised flyer scored a record 39 tries in 25 games in the 2015 under-20s season for the Cowboys, crossing four times in a game on four occasions.

"He's got speed. He knows where the tryline is," Green said.

"These periods in a season, they give you the opportunity to see what some of those younger guys can bring to the table.

"His trial form was really good; we've all seen what he did in the Nines - I'm excited to see what he can do for us."

Green will sweat on Feldt's availability throughout the week before making a final call on the Queensland Origin aspirant.

"I am pretty confident (he will play) after speaking to him," Green said.

"We need him at the moment.

"There are few injuries amongst the boys so experience is very valuable for us.

"We don't want too many more injuries - that will really test us.

"But I am confident the guys we have got can deal with it."

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