North Queensland coach Paul Green is banking on the anticipated improvement of mid-tier players to make the Cowboys a better team than when they won the NRL premiership last season.
While Green said a few rival clubs had recruited "very well" he was more than happy to defend North Queensland's maiden title with an almost identical roster to 2015, after his players agreed they could improve in certain areas.
The Cowboys, who won last weekend's World Club Challenge final in the UK, lost their opening three games last season, but strung together 11 straight wins mid-season.
"A couple of the clubs have bought very well," Green said. "New Zealand have picked up a couple of superstars in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke, while Kieran Foran going to Parramatta will really help them.
"I'm pretty happy with make-up of our squad. If you look across our squad we've got a good mix of kids who are still rookies, a handful of players who played between 50 and 100 games who are starting to understand what it's all about, and then we've got the older, more experienced players.
"Our focus has been on attention (to detail) rather than recruitment, and I think our improvement will come from some of those guys like Michael Morgan, Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo and Jake Granville, who has a full season under his belt."
Meanwhile, Brisbane will confirm Corey Parker as its captain at tonight's gala season launch.
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