Dearden can lead Cowboys: Taumalolo

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With four Queensland State of Origin winners back in their line-up, North Queensland captain Jason Taumalolo says his side might just use that extra experience to fuel a deep NRL finals run.

Among the quartet of champion Maroons is Tom Dearden, who in steering his state to a famous game three win looked more like a veteran leader than a 21-year-old emerging halfback who's yet to even appear in the NRL post-season.

He will be joined in the thriving Cowboys side by Valentine Holmes, Murray Taulagi and Jeremiah Nanai for Sunday's clash against struggling Wests Tigers at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Taumalolo acknowledged that boost could be just what the team needed.

"I'm sure Tommy has learnt a few things off guys like (Daly) Cherry-Evans and (Cameron) Munster ... obviously the way he played game three, he'll be full of confidence," he told reporters.

"Now that everyone knows what he's capable of and what he can do in the Origin arena, I'm sure he's pretty keen to get back and play some great footy for us.

"Those guys earned their spots in Origin with the way they've played throughout the year and it's great seeing guys like that being rewarded.

"It's great to have them back and I'm sure they're keen to rip in to the last part of the season."

Sitting second on the ladder at 12-5, the Cowboys could potentially burn off the chasing foe in the race for a home qualifying final across the next three games as they face the Tigers (16th), St George Illawarra (11th) and Canterbury (14th).

Taumalolo encouraged his troops to seize the opportunity and put themselves in the best position to make a finals mipact.

"We started the year with our ambitions pretty high ... looking at it from this point of view and where we are in the season, that only just cements where our belief is," he said.

"We're pretty hopeful we can go deep into the finals so, but given how tight all the spots are on the top eight, it's pretty crucial in this part of the season to be getting two points, separating ourselves from a bit of a cluster where anyone can finish as high as second."

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