Rookie of the Year contenders

Young guns Enari Tuala and Jake Clifford will battle it out for the prestigious North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Rookie of the Year gong at Thursday night's annual Presentation Ball at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.

After playing a single game in his debut season in 2017, Tuala retained his rookie eligibility in 2018.

The 19-year-old centre made 10 appearances for Paul Green's side this season, beginning with his season debut from the interchange against South Sydney in Round 11.

He made his first ever NRL start in the Round 13 clash with Manly and scored a memorable try courtesy of a trademark leap by winger Kyle Feldt, who sensationally popped the ball to an unmarked Tuala.

Tuala scored again the following week against Parramatta in Darwin and remained a regular in Green's line-up until late in the season.

Clifford, the 2017 NYC Player of the Year, made his NRL debut in Round 19 against St George Illawarra after lighting up the Queensland Cup for the Northern Pride.

The 20-year-old's arrival in first grade signaled a change in fortune for the Cowboys, who won three of the six games Clifford played in during his debut season.

The Tully product excelled in partnering retiring legend Johnathan Thurston in the halves, the highlight being a three try-assist masterclass against Parramatta in Round 24.