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Cowboys 2022 squad analysis - second row

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.

>>> 2022 squad analysis - fullback
>>> 2022 squad analysis - outside back
>>> 2022 squad analysis - halves

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.