© Ian Hitchcock/ Getty ImagesEthan Lowe of the Cowboys
A neck injury scare has relegated Ethan Lowe to North Queensland's bench until the Cowboys back-rower can regain his confidence.
Lowe is on the comeback trail from surgery on a pinched nerve suffered during North Queensland's 2016 NRL finals run.
The 26-year-old was just five games into his return when he received a knock to the troublesome neck against South Sydney three weeks ago.
"A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a scare but I have come through alright," Lowe said.
"The main focus is getting my confidence back."
Interchange looks like a demotion for Lowe, who was touted as a Queensland State of Origin candidate last year, but Cowboys coach Paul Green said Lowe will remain on the bench until he rediscovers his mojo.
"It's to take a little bit of pressure off Lowey and help him get back into the groove, build that confidence," Green said.
"You don't forget how to play but sometimes confidence comes and goes.
"It's about getting his confidence back so he can do what he does best."
Lowe lost his starting back-row spot to young gun Coen Hess in last round's loss to St George Illawarra and played just 35 minutes off the bench against the Dragons, running for 55m.
"I would definitely prefer to be starting but at the moment it's going to be good for me in the longer run," Lowe said.
"It's a way of helping me focus on what I have to do well and getting better and more confident."