The North Queensland Cowboys are preparing for an emotional return home, as a bumper crowd is expected to honour the life of former coach Paul Green.
The team will wear black armbands, along with a minute’s silence and a video tribute.
Coach Todd Payten told the Townsville Bulletin that despite the circumstances, the squad would be able to remain focused on the task at hand – consolidating a spot in the NRL’s top two.
“It’s been a challenge, it’s something that we haven’t had to deal with as group, but it won’t derail us moving forward,” he said.
“We’re a pretty strong group, they care for each other and they want to perform well for themselves, our members, for their families. They’ve got an opportunity to take a step in right direction.”
The Cowboys were understandably well below their best in a loss to the Roosters, with almost all of the playing group having played under Green at some point.