COEN Hess made his name as an edge-running destroyer but has declared that time spent playing in the middle last season for the Cowboys improved his game.
Hess, 21 and already an Origin player, was brought into the middle of the park due to injuries in the North Queensland squad during last season.
While he was well and truly adept at finding the tryline as a wide runner, scoring the most tries of any NRL forward last season (12), he learnt plenty closer to the tough stuff.
"Playing in the middle has added to my arsenal as a player and I'll feel more comfortable if I have to play in the middle again this year," the 114kg behemoth said.
"I see myself as a backrower where I've played mostly on the edge, but I am coming off the bench so I have to play where I am needed.
"On the edge, there are times in the game where you have to work hard, but being in the middle is a constant dogfight with the opposition and a lot of effort-on-effort."
Cowboys coach Paul Green said he was impressed by Hess' efforts in the middle but expected him to remain an edge backrower.
Hess is signed with the Cowboys through to the end of next season.
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