Former Cowboys player Lachlan Coote has blasted his old club. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Former Cowboys player Lachlan Coote has blasted his old club. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Coote blasts Cowboys over his departure

FORMER Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote has blasted the Cowboys for the way they handled his NRL exit.

Coote, who played 83 first-grade games for the Cowboys across 2014-18 and was part of North Queensland's 2015 premiership-winning side, says he was left scratching his head by what he called a sudden loss of respect from coach Paul Green, and a lack of communication from the club.

Coote finished his last season at the Cowboys playing just nine games of NRL, with the rest played in the Queensland Cup.

Coote left North Queensland at the end of last year to play with Super League club St Helens and was replaced by former St Helens custodian Ben Barba, who had his NRL contract terminated before playing a single game of the 2019 season.

"The way they (North Queensland) approached it was poor, I guess, and it could have been handled better," Coote told British magazine Rugby League World.

"For a coach to just lose respect for someone for no reason, that's what I didn't understand. That was pretty disappointing to see.

"It just wasn't being upfront with things. It felt like from the start of the season, going to a grand final, there wasn't much chat from the coach.

"When I did get injured at the start of the (2018) season, there was no chat there. You'd think when your first string fullback goes down, there'd be chat there.

"But I don't want to come across as I'm whining about things and stuff like that. I've been around a long time and that's how things are."

Coote, who played 166 first-grade for the Panthers and Cowboys, said he HAD thought about leaving first-grade rugby league altogether.

"At the end of last year I was seriously contemplating just going to a Q Cup team and playing out whatever footy I had left in me," Coote said.

"I was pretty disappointed with how things ended at the Cowboys. In another sense, it happens all the time to players. I've seen it happen to other players before me, it was just my turn I guess."

"I was trying to hang on to that NRL career. Why wouldn't you?"

"I've got a family over there with two young kids. I've already moved away from my mum and dad once and didn't want to have to do it again, especially out of the country and to the other side of the world."