Hess vows to maintain forward momentum
COWBOYS weapon Coen Hess says his transformation into an 80-minute forward will not sap his try-scoring power.
Hess has been thrust into a starting spot in North Queensland's second row on the back of Ethan Lowe's form dip.
The 21-year-old giant was a try-scoring sensation for the Cowboys last season, crossing 13 times in 27 games to force his way into a Queensland Origin jersey.
Hess has scored three tries this season, including a double against Melbourne in his first 80-minute hitout of the year.
The 110kg wrecking ball has not scored in North Queensland's past two matches, but insists his increased workload will not hinder his impact.
"It's a bit harder playing 80 minutes, it's something I'm working on," Hess said.
"It will come to me over time, a bit of game conditioning. The effort on effort is what I'm focusing on now I've got a starting spot.
"I think I can (have the same impact). I want to be as involved as I can, whether that's taking carries or tackling. I want to make sure every involvement I have is a good one.
"Backrowers are expected to play 80 minutes and that's my preferred position."
Hess, 21, is listed officially at 110kg and the 41-game forward looks bigger and stronger than he did in 2017.
He featured mostly in the middle throughout North Queensland's grand final season last year, but is relishing his move to the right edge.
The Cowboys have had a shocking start to the season with just one win in the opening five rounds, however they have a golden opportunity to bounce back into form against Canterbury at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday.
Hess played two Origin matches last year as part of Maroons coach Kevin Walters' overhaul of the Queensland juggernaut.
He is by no means a certainty to be selected again and Hess said he had to thrive in his new role at the Cowboys to ensure he was picked for the Maroons.
"To gain selection you have to be playing good club footy and at the moment I'm focusing on putting my best foot forward for the Cowboys," he said.
"You see some really good players can go their whole career without playing State of Origin. To get it so early in my career was a bit of a shock.
"It was very special for not only myself but also my family and people who have helped me.
"I see myself as a backrower, but if I'm needed to play any position I will do my part for the team.
"One of the things I bring to the team is power running and (coach Paul Green) wants me to continue doing that.
"I've been working on my decision making on the edge. That's still a learning process and will improve over time."