Whether you believe a long-term deal is a good thing or a bad thing, there is no denying that the re-signing of Jason Taumalolo by the North Queensland Cowboys is a tremendous boost for the club not only this season but moving forward.
The whopping 10-year deal will make Taumalolo a Cowboy for life, running until the end of the 2027 season.
Since joining the club’s pathways at 14 years old, Taumalolo has fought hard to achieve elite status and is on his way there after winning last year’s Dally M and continuing his impressive form this year so far.
The man himself knows the Cowboys are the right team for him and a place where he feels at home.
“I’m very proud and honoured to be able to say that I’m staying a Cowboy for life,” Taumalolo said.
“This club – including my teammates, the coaching staff, and the people that are its heart and soul –mean the world to me, as do our amazing members and fans.”
The opportunity to finish up as a Cowboy was too good for the hulking forward to refuse in the end.
“One of the greatest pleasures of being a professional rugby league player with the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys is running out on to our home ground at the start of the game and hearing that roar,” Taumalolo continued.
“I started this amazing journey as a young kid in the academy program in a Cowboys jersey and I’ll finish up in one.”
Retaining him was crucial given the heavy interest in Taumalolo from other clubs was rampant. Though the club know that his signature is one that will boost their side moving forward.
“On current form, Jase is one of the best players in the competition and given his age we felt the longer that we could secure him for, the better for everybody,” said Cowboys General Manager of Football, Peter Parr.
“It (the deal) gives Jase good security and the club knows that it’s secured the best young forward in the game for a considerable period of time.
“We wanted a win-win in this deal – as we do with every player negotiation – and that’s what we’ve got.”
He took a while to find his mojo but under coach Paul Green, he has found a new lease on life and a reason to impress every week.
Green, who has watched him develop in recent years, knows just how special a player he is and is excited to have retained him at the club.
“I’ve been privileged to have watched Jase mature into an extremely talented footballer and it’s been a pleasure to see him improve year in, year out,” Green said.
“He’s extremely coachable, always wants to improve and has been integral to our recent success. This new deal is fantastic news for Jase, for our club, for our partners, for our members and fans, and for his current and future teammates.”
Taumalolo also thanked everyone involved in his career to date from his family, friends, the fans, the club, its staff and his management team.
“All these people have been instrumental in my career, and I have shared successes with all of them,” Taumalolo said.
“Holding aloft that NRL Premiership trophy with JT, Thumper, Greeny and Parrie and the rest of the boys is a memory I’ll have forever,” Taumalolo said.
“I’m also very grateful to Pacific Sports Management, especially Chris Orr, who I linked with as a young teenager. They’ve been with me the whole way and are a crucial part of my team.”