Bowen set for Auckland Nines run

Matt Bowen may come out of retirement and play for the North Queensland Cowboys at the Auckland Nines next month.

Bowen officially retired after playing for Wigan Warriors in the 2015 Super League grand final. But the door has been opened for the 33-year old to make a one-off return appearance.

Bowen was spotted at Cowboys training on Thursday and coach Paul Green has not ruled out selecting the fullback.

The former Queensland and Australia flyer tweeted last month he would play in the Nines if picked.

Green joked that Bowen would need to earn his position in Auckland.

“He’s got to pass a beep test so that might rule him out,” Green told AAP.

“(But) we’re going over there to take it seriously.

“Not that Matty wouldn’t be up to it, but any team we take we want to make sure they’re up to the standard.”

A number of retired greats have featured in the Auckland Nines in the past two years, including Steve Menzies, Brad Fittler and Matt King.

Green said his squad has already benefited from Bowen’s return to Cowboys’ training.

“We would be mad not to use a guy with his experience as a mentor for some of our younger guys,” he said.

“All the players get a kick out of having him out there on the training paddock.”

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