Cooper Heads North

ONE of the Redcliffe Dolphins' most promising players has joined the North Queensland Cowboys. Boom second-rower Gavin Cooper will play the 2005 season with the NRL emerging force. He will be joined by talented Redcliffe teenage centre Charles Vis, who already has turned out for the Dolphins in the Queensland Cup. Cooper said the Cowboys, who had signed him for its 25-strong NRL roster, wanted him to start training in mid-October in Townsville. "I signed with the Cowboys in late July when I was out with illness," he said. "I got glandular fever soon after the state under 19 match and missed six weeks of football." The lanky backrower, who lost 13 kilograms from his 102 kilogram frame, has only just put the weight back on in recent weeks. "I've been told I will be slotted into the second-row with the Cowboys depending how fit into the system of things there," said Cooper, who turned 19 on August 19. "It would be great to get an early look in NRL calculations. Of course I know Shane Tronc up there, who is killing them, and a couple of the Queensland under 19s." Cooper's brother Dustin also played for the Dolphins before joining the Melbourne Storm two seasons ago.

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