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Cowboys Elite Pathways

The Cowboys Elite Pathways is proudly supported by Toyota and the North Queensland Toyota Dealers.

Made up of Greenhorns (15-16yo), Bucks (17-18yo) and Young Guns (19-20yo), the Elite Pathways program provides a structured pathway to support the development and transition of promising young rugby league players through the playing ranks, from junior rugby league through to the NRL.

The Academy is strategically structured to provide:

  • A best practice system based on acquiring all the attributes required to play in the NRL
  • Access to highly qualified skill coaches and player welfare and strength & conditioning staff
  • A clear pathway for athletes to build a career in rugby league

Academy participants will gain:

  • Development of core skills and game sense
  • Knowledge of best practice training techniques, strength and conditioning and nutrition
  • Support for the journey to become a professional athlete, including player welfare and life skills
  • Regular feedback and communication from academy staff to ensure targets are reached


Academy players are selected by the Cowboys recruitment manager, with the assistance of trusted local coaches.

Recruitment and talent identification staff are present at key rugby league events, including:

  • Various junior league games in regional centres
  • School and club representative carnivals
  • State-run competitions

Players identified for inclusion are then invited to attend academy sessions in their local area each year.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.