Mix of experience and youth
The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have continued to consolidate the experience of their roster while keeping one eye firmly on the future with the re-signing announcement this week of four players.
Experienced front-rowers Scott Bolton and Ben Hannant have recommitted to the club for two years and one year respectively, upcoming half Kyle Laybutt has signed for two years while former Cowboys National Youth Competition Player of the Year and hooker Josh Chudleigh has agreed to a one-year deal.
“These are very good signings for us, as we’ve managed to retain invaluable experience in the forwards, while with Josh and Kyle, we’ve managed to keep two of our most promising young players, with both playing in key positions,” said Cowboys General Manager – Football Peter Parr.
“Benny and Bolts have had outstanding years this season, and we’re thrilled to have been able to retain them beyond 2015.”
Innisfail product Bolton, 28, has been playing in the NRL for the Cowboys since 2007 and will notch up his 150-game milestone for the club in Saturday’s Preliminary Final against the Storm at AAMI Park. A key member of the team’s forward rotation, Bolton has developed into an onfield leader, providing valuable backup to starting props Matt Scott and James Tamou.
Hannant, 30, joined the Cowboys in 2015 and has enjoyed a stellar year, primarily as a hard-working prop off the bench. The 219-game NRL veteran has played in all 26 Cowboys games this year.
Chudleigh, 21, from Canberra, joined the Cowboys’ NYC team in 2014, enjoying a terrific season culminating in being named the Player of the Year. He then joined the Cowboys’ NRL squad this season and produced a standout campaign with NQ feeder team the Mackay Cutters in the Intrust Super Cup, where he was named that team’s Player of the Year.
Laybutt, 19, hails from Bundaberg and after joining the Cowboys’ NYC team mid-way through the season, has made every post a winner, with the playmaker being a big part of the team’s success in getting through the NYC Preliminary Final against the Manly Sea Eagles at AAMI Park this Saturday.