Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein unfazed by 2018 NRL challenges

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AAP

Off contract and recovering from an injury-plagued 2017, North Queensland flyer Antonio Winterstein insists he is unfazed by the challenges that lay ahead next NRL season.

Antonio Winterstein of the Cowboys scores a try during the Second NRL Semi Final match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Cronulla Sharks

Source: Getty

The Samoan international will be playing for a new Cowboys deal in 2018 after being restricted by a string of injuries this year.

Winterstein missed this year's season opener due to an ankle complaint, then broke his arm upon his round two return.

He also had to battle through calf, rib, wrist and hamstring complaints to help North Queensland make their second grand final in three years before being ruled out of Samoa's Rugby League World Cup campaign.

It limited him to 19 games for 2017, the least he has strung together in a season at the Cowboys.

However, Winterstein said he was ready to bounce back to his best in his eighth season for North Queensland.

"That's the game we play, injuries happen," he told the Cowboys website.

"I'm fully fit now which is great and I'm looking forward to a strong pre- season in preparation for 2018.

"The (off-season) break was great but at the same time it's fantastic to be back out here with the boys and there's exciting times ahead with this team."

At 29, Winterstein could also see the looming threat of young Cowboys speedsters Gideon Gela-Mosby and Enari Tuala who both made their debut this year.

"You can't relax and that's a good thing," he said.

"Gideon and Enari certainly didn't look out of place this year."

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