Former Canberra Raiders coach David Furner is now working with the Cowboys. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
It's still 88 days away, but axed Canberra Raiders coach David Furner has wasted no time joining North Queensland to prepare for a mouth-watering round one stoush with his old side.
Fresh from Australia's victorious World Cup campaign in the UK, Furner arrived back in Canberra last Wednesday and jumped on a plane the next day to Townsville to take up his assistant coaching gig with the Cowboys.
Furner, who has made way for Ricky Stuart at the Raiders, will be a key ally to rookie Cowboys coach Paul Green next year following Neil Henry's axing. Furner looms as the Cowboys' secret weapon for the season-opener in Townsville, given his intimate knowledge of Canberra's players and structure after five years at the helm of the Green Machine.
''We finished off the campaign with Australia on Saturday, I was back in Canberra on Wednesday and jumped on a plane on Thursday, I just wanted to get involved as soon as possible and move up here as quickly as possible,'' Furner said on Monday.
''I was with the Australia side for a seven, eight week tour at the end of which we played a very good brand of football, which was good to be part of. But the focus now is my job here and the support for Greeny, so I'm looking forward to it.''
Furner revealed he would take over the defensive coaching duties next season.
''At this stage, I'll be working with the defensive side … that's why I have come up here,'' he said.
''I've had that experience in that [head] position before but it is about what Greeny wants and what the team needs.''