North Queensland Toyota Cowboys second rower Coen Hess has agreed to a three-year contract extension which will keep him at the club until the end of the 2022 season.
A home-grown product of the Cowboys Elite Pathways Program, Hess joined the club as a 15-year-old in 2011 and has emerged as one of the premier young forwards in the NRL.
Hess has played 59 NRL games since debuting as a 19-year-old in 2015. After playing eight games in 2016, Hess quickly solidified himself as a first grade regular in 2017, scoring 13 tries in 27 appearances and started from the interchange in that season's grand final against Melbourne.
The Mt Isa product has also played five games for Queensland after debuting in Game Two of the victorious 2017 series against NSW.
Hess said he was delighted to extend his stay at the club he grew up supporting.
"This club means everything to me. Growing up in Mt Isa, I have lived and breathed the Cowboys for as long as I can remember," he said.
"Getting my first taste of the NRL with the Cowboys was a dream come true and this club has become a massive part of my life.
"I've never wanted to play for any other club other than the Cowboys. Matt Scott and Paul Bowman are legends of this club and are two players I have always looked up to. They are both one club players and hopefully one day I can be considered in the same regard as them.
"I'm extremely passionate about the North Queensland region. The lifestyle here is second to none, I grew up here and I hope to live here for the rest of my playing career and beyond."
Cowboys Director of Football Peter Parr described offering Hess a long-term contract extension an "easy decision".
"Coen Hess is one of the best young forwards in the game and at 22 all of his best football is in front of him.
"He's a North Queenslander, he's come through our Elite Pathways Program and he's ticked every box along the way.
"Given his age, what he's already done in the game and the level we believe he will get to, it was an easy decision on our part to secure him long term.
"He's a wonderful young bloke. Every club is not only looking for good football players, they're looking for people who are of good character and Coen fits that bill. We not only think he will boost our on-field performances, but as he gets older play a really key off field role as well."