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Last year’s most improved Cowboy, swift centre Justin O’Neill, added plenty more strings to his bow with a standout 2016 campaign playing inside good friend Kyle Feldt.

With an improved defensive game and trademark sublime finishing ability, O’Neill was a constant handful for opposing centres this season, the Hughenden product crossing for 13 tries – for the second season running – and amassing 57 tackle breaks, the fourth best in his team.

O’Neill’s consistency and lethal ball running were duly rewarded when he was named in the Queensland State of Origin team.

The 25-year-old was one of the Maroons’ best over the three games as Queensland claimed back-to-back series wins.

More good news was to follow at season’s end with O’Neill selected in Mal Meninga’s 24-man squad to play in the 2016 Four Nations in England, and then named to debut for the Kangaroos against Scotland in the tournament opener in Hull.

2016 STATS

Played: 25
: 13
Average tackles
: 12
Tackle breaks: 57
Line breaks: 10

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.