The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have agreed to a one-year contract extension with PNG International Zac Laybutt, running through the 2025 season.
The 21-year-old centre shot from the clouds to make his NRL debut from outside of the Cowboys’ Top 30 last season.
Laybutt appeared in four games in his maiden NRL season, including a two-try performance in the Round 26 victory over The Dolphins.
The brother of Cowboy No.265 Kyle Laybutt, Zac grew up in Bundaberg before relocating to North Queensland to join the Cowboys Young Guns in 2021.
Despite spending 2023 on a Train and Replacement contract, Laybutt earned an NRL debut in Round 13 against the Parramatta Eels.
Laybutt has been promoted to the Top 30 for 2024 and 2025.
He made his Test debut for the PNG Kumuls in the end of season Pacific Championships, appearing in all three games at centre, including the 32-12 Bowl Final victory over Fiji.
“Zac is a tremendously talented young player, but what he was able to achieve last year exceeded the already high expectations we had for him,” Cowboys General Manager of Football Micheal Luck said.
“What was most impressive was how he handled the step up through the grades from under 21s to Queensland Cup to the NRL and he looked comfortable with every progression.
“Zac is a very coachable young player who came into first grade as a centre, but he also has the ability to play five-eighth or fullback.
“We’re thrilled to have secured Zac for another year, he makes our club a better place and we look forward to seeing him progress.”