The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys’ National Rugby League Premiership defence will be carried out in fine style with the launch today of its 2016 jersey range.

The launch of the five jerseys – home and away strips, Indigenous Round, Women in League Round, and a kit for the Auckland Nines tournament in February – are available for pre-order now through the Cowboys Team Shop

All jerseys will proudly display the club’s new sleeve sponsor, The Ville Resort-Casino, with the hotel-casino entertainment resort and complex signing a three-year deal with the club.

Cowboys General Manager – Commercial Steve Mitchell said having The Ville on board for the 2016 season and beyond was a perfect fit given both entities produce first-class entertainment.

“The Ville’s logo will be proudly displayed on this fantastic-looking range of jerseys which I’m certain the players will enjoy wearing as they go about defending their NRL premiership, while our valued members and supporters will, I believe, be excited by our new kit,” he said.

“The designs have been well thought out and feature core team colours, with a nod to the past. Our Indigenous Round jersey is just stunning and we can’t thank Torres Strait artist Sharon Phineasa enough for her bold, creative design.”

The Ville CEO Brad Morgan said the three-year sleeve sponsorship deal was a perfect opportunity for the rebranded hotel and casino complex to establish a highly visible presence in the North Queensland sports and entertainment landscape.

“As 2016 heralds new beginnings for The Ville Resort-Casino signalled by our change of name, extensive redevelopment plans and our 30th birthday, it seems especially fitting to elevate our lengthy relationship with the North Queensland Cowboys to a new level,” he said.

“We are immensely proud to have committed to a long term sponsorship of the sleeve – we hope to see those sleeves raised once again to hold the Premiership Grand Final Trophy in coming seasons.”

Features of the 2016 jersey range include:

  • Having grey the predominate colour on the away strip in a nod to the “blue and grey” team colours as referenced in the lyrics of Lee Kernaghan’s C’mon The Cowboys song;

  • Heritage-style stripes on the home-and-away kits as a tribute to the 20-year anniversary jersey proudly worn by the team during its watershed premiership campaign in 2015;

  • Purple as the predominate colour for the Women in League Round as a point of difference from the traditional pink jerseys used to mark this important occasion;"

  • An eye-popping Indigenous Round jersey, the design of which by Mrs Phineasa features striking colours and tropical themes.

Mrs Phineasa is a descendant of the Ait-Koedal (Crocodile) and Dhoeybaw (Wild Yam) clans of Saibai and Dauan Islands in the top-western Toress Straits, and gets the inspiration from her work from the Kulba Adithil (“old stories”) of myths and legends passed down through successive generations of tribal elders.

In describing the inspiration for her designs – which reflect strongly on the Cowboys’ battle for success in the NRL - she says: “Warriors would evoke the strength of their ancestors to give them power over their adversaries and ensure victory. Once endowed with this spiritual strength, warriors became invincible. The adornment of ceremonial war paint and markings was to strike fear in their rivals. The markings were also acknowledgement of their clans and totems that set them apart in battle.”

The full range of jersey will be available by the end of the week at: Cowboys’ Team Shop, Cowboys Leagues Club, Flinders St, Townsville; and online now for pre-orders at www.cowboysteamshop.com.au