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Winterstein confirmed starter for Cowboys

NZN 9/03/2017 Laine Clark

North Queensland coach Paul Green has confirmed winger Antonio Winterstein will return from injury in Friday night's NRL blockbuster against Brisbane.

Javid Bowen had been on standby for Winterstein, who missed the Cowboys' season opening extra-time win against Canberra with an ankle injury.

But Green on Thursday confirmed the Cowboys would be as per program with Bowen, Shaun Fensom, Gideon Mosby-Gela and prodigy Kalyn Ponga cut from the interchange.

"He brings that experience. There will be a big game atmosphere which can overawe some young players - it's good to have him back," Green said of Winterstein.

The last five derbies have been decided by six points or less - three of them going to extra-time.

Brisbane have won their last five games against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.

But Green said it would be no trouble backing up from their first round golden-point win over Canberra.

"Games like these are the easy ones to prepare for - they are the ones you want to play in," he said.

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