NORTH Queensland forward Scott Bolton says not having to make the long-haul pre-season trip to England to play in the World Club Challenge is going to be a positive for the Cowboys.
Many people in league circles have the belief that no matter how much clubs do to make the trip as easy as possible on teams it has an adverse affect on their chances of winning the NRL premiership the following season.
North Queensland thrashed Leeds Rhinos 38-4 to win this year’s WCC, but none of the three teams that travelled to England for the World Club Series – Brisbane and Sydney Roosters were the others – made the grand final after that.
The Roosters, who had other problems with injuries and off-field dramas, didn’t even make the finals.
“Yeah, I think it will be a benefit for us (not going),” Bolton says.
“Certainly with the big boys (Australia representatives from the Four Nations tournament) not coming back to training until mid-to-end January.
“So I think it’s going to be a short pre-season for them and if we had to go to England again I think it would be a big more difficult than what it was.
“But I’m sure those boys, being the professionals that they are, they will be coming back hitting the ground running.”