North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green has named his mandatory 21-man Round 1 squad to face the St George Illawarra Dragons at 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville on Saturday, March 16.

Former Dragon Nene Macdonald will make his Cowboys debut alongside fellow North Queensland recruits Jordan Kahu, Tom Opacic and Josh McGuire.

Te Maire Martin has won the race to the vacant five-eighth spot following Johnathan Thurston's retirement, while Javid Bowen has been named on the wing in Kyle Feldt's absence.

North Queensland squad: Round 1 v Dragons

1. Jordan Kahu
2. Nene Macdonald
3. Justin O’Neill
4. Tom Opacic
5. Javid Bowen
6. Te Maire Martin
7. Michael Morgan (c)
8. Matt Scott
9. Jake Granville
10. Jordan McLean
11. Gavin Cooper
12. Coen Hess
13. Jason Taumalolo

Interchange:

14. John Asiata
15. Josh McGuire
16. Mitch Dunn
17. Francis Molo
18. Ben Hampton
19. Jake Clifford
20. Gideon Gela-Mosby
23. Enari Tuala