Down on confidence Cowboys prop James Tamou says his neck injury has been with him since he started playing rugby league.

North Queensland’s representative prop James Tamou has admitted he is struggling for confidence as he battles an ongoing neck complaint.

The Australian and NSW front-rower suffered a reoccurrence of the injury against Canterbury in round 20 and returned in the Cowboys’ impressive last-start win over South Sydney.

It was his first game in a month after being rushed from ANZ Stadium to hospital to undergo scans before being given the all clear the following day.

“The neck has pulled up really well, there are no dramas there whatsoever,” Tamou told AAP.

“It is just me having to get that confidence back, getting the head in there and using the top of my shoulder for contact, just trying to find my way back in there.

“I knew exactly what had happened because the injury has been there ever since I starting playing rugby league but that hit just took it a bit further.

“I have had it hit before when I had a burner and couldn’t move it but this time it wanted to hang around for a couple of hours but I wasn’t that concerned

“I went to the hospital, I was in a neck brace but I thought it was a bit far fetched, it was all precautionary.

“It will happen again, I know it will, I am just being a bit more cautious this time, going into tackles which will hurt me coming into games because you need that heavy contact.

“I just have to get my confidence back, I will keep working on that at training, and hopefully after a couple more games and more minutes I will be right.

“I was a bit nervous coming in last week, but after my first hit up and my first set of tackles I was fine.”

Ahead of the Cowboys round 25 clash against Cronulla in Townsville on Monday night Tamou says from his time watching on from the sidelines he feels Johnathan Thurston is in the form of his career.

“I 100 per cent think so,” Tamou said.

“He has really taken a step up, you can tell because other teams for example the Bunnies they really tried to target him when he was going to kick it, they really went after him and tried to take him out of the game.

“But someone like JT won’t let that affect him too easily

“He is playing some of his best footy and it is up to us big boys to make the space for him.”