North Queensland Cowboys players will not attend the National Rugby League's Dally M awards in Sydney tonight, but will still take part in the ceremony from Townsville.
North Queensland booked its place in next Sunday's NRL grand final with a 32-12 win over Melbourne Storm in Saturday's preliminary final, and the club has advised the game's administrators its players would not interrupt preparations by travelling south for the awards.
Johnathan Thurston is the hot favourite to pick up a fourth Dally M Medal for player of the year, but should he win the award he will likely claim it via video link-up.
The Cowboys released a statement last night saying they wanted to give their players the best possible preparation for the grand final against the Brisbane Broncos.
"The Dally Ms is the premier awards night in our game and we will ensure the Cowboys are part of it," a spokesman said.
"They are grand finalists and will still be a key part of the night."
Thurston is battling calf and groin issues ahead of the grand final, meaning an extra trip to Sydney would have left less time for his recovery.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will present the Dally M Medal.