Cowboys.com.au are providing an in-depth positional analysis of the 2022 North Queensland Toyota Cowboys squad. We continue the series with a second row group jam-packed with young stars.
The players are ranked by their NRL experience with their career numbers of games in brackets next to their name.
Tom Gilbert (23)
Gilbert came through the Cowboys ranks as a middle, but has experience on an edge at NRL level and has spent time training there over the pre-season. The 21-year-old workhorse would provide defensive starch to an edge if selected for Round 1.
Connelly Lemuelu (20)
All Lemuelu’s NRL appearances have come as an outside back, but the 23-year-old has split his time between centre and second row in the pre-season. A powerful runner of the football, Lemuelu will continue to be trialed as an edge forward in the latter stages of the pre-season and in the opening rounds.
Ben Condon (12)
A powerful runner with a deft offload, Condon enjoyed two separate stints in Todd Payten’s side last season. The 21-year-old scored tries in three consecutive games between Rounds 5 and 7 – all Cowboys victories.
Heilum Luki (11)
A prodigious talent from Cairns, Luki burst on to the NRL scene with a barnstorming try on debut against the Knights. While the majority of his appearances came as a middle forward, Luki has been earmarked as a second-rower moving forward.
Jeremiah Nanai (4)
Another Cairns product, Nanai only turned 18 just prior to the 2021 season, but was still able to secure a debut late in the year. Nanai turned heads with his maturity in his four NRL games and is set to feature prominently for the Cowboys in 2022.