The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys can today announce that barnstorming forward and reigning Dally M Medallist Jason Taumalolo will be a “Cowboy for life” after agreeing to an historic 10-year deal with the club.
The milestone extension will have Taumalolo, 23, remain a Cowboy until the end of the 2027 National Rugby League season, meaning the prodigiously talented back rower will have been with the club for 20 years after joining their pathways program as a 14-year-old.
“I’m very proud and honoured to be able to say that I’m staying a Cowboy for life,” Taumalolo said.
“This club – including my teammates, the coaching staff, and the people that are its heart and soul – means the world to me, as do our amazing partners, members and fans.
“One of the greatest pleasures of being a professional rugby league player with the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys is running out on to our home ground at the start of the game and hearing that roar.
“I started this amazing journey as a young kid in the academy program in a Cowboys jersey and I’ll finish up in one.”
Cowboys General Manager – Football Peter Parr said striking a long-term deal with the club’s young star made sense on several fronts.
“On current form, Jase is one of the best players in the competition and given his age we felt the longer that we could secure him for, the better for everybody,” Parr said.
“It (the deal) gives Jase good security and the club knows that it’s secured the best young forward in the game for a considerable period of time.
“We wanted a win-win in this deal – as we do with every player negotiation – and that’s what we’ve got.”
Taumalolo – who made his NRL debut for the Cowboys in 2010 as a 17-year-old – moved with his family to Townsville when he was just 13, the young prospect attending rugby league nursery Kirwan State High School while on scholarship with the club.
He played an increasing number of NRL games over the ensuing seasons, before blossoming under coach Paul Green when the rookie NRL coach made the move north ahead of the 2014 season.
“I’ve been privileged to have watched Jase mature into an extremely talented footballer and it’s been a pleasure to see him improve year in, year out,” Green said.
“He’s extremely coachable, always wants to improve and has been integral to our recent success. This new deal is fantastic news for Jase, for our club, for our partners, for our members and fans, and for his current and future teammates.”
Taumalolo paid tribute to his family for making sacrifices that allowed him to pursue his rugby league dream.
Within the club he wanted to make particular note of the support given to him by Green, Parr, club chairman Laurence Lancini and co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott.
“All these people have been instrumental in my career, and I have shared successes with all of them,” Taumalolo said.
“Holding aloft that NRL Premiership trophy with JT, Thumper, Greeny and Parrie and the rest of the boys is a memory I’ll have forever.
“I’m also very grateful to Pacific Sports Management, especially Chris Orr, who I linked with as a young teenager. They’ve been with me the whole way and are a crucial part of my team.”
Taumalolo added that he looked forward to hearing the roar of the crowd when he runs out on to 1300SMILES Stadium next Friday, 31 March against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.