The Cowboys were desperately searching for a player to replace perhaps the most under-rated hooker in the game in Anthony Watts, and they may just have found their man in a former Rooster.

Ben Jones, a utility back, has signed on with the Cowboys for 2 seasons, as the Cowboys get the hooker they so desperately needed to cover for Aaron Payne.

It is believed that the Roosters released Jones to the Cowboys in light of salary cap restrictions.

Jones, who is only 20 years old, but has played first-grade for the Roosters is scheduled to arrive in Townsville to train with the players later today.

The Cowboys however don’t view Jones as just another player. They see him as one of their starting centres in light of Brent Tate’s season-ending injury, a position in which Jones knows well.

“He was exactly what we were looking for,” he said.

“He’s an old-style footy player that’s able to play different positions, with a good head on his shoulders and with good leadership qualities, being captain of the junior Kangaroos this year.

“He’s equally home playing at centre and hooker while he grew up playing at five-eighth.”

Cowboys Neil Henry got his first look at Jones in last year, when he played in the Indigenous All-Stars game, and Henry was immediately impressed by what he saw of Jones.

“Ben was playing centre in that team and then during the game went into hooker and handled both particularly well,” he said.

“So he’s a high-quality young bloke that can play and play a number of different positions.”

Jones is not expected to be too far behind the pace of the Cowboys players, as he was training with the Roosters before the move was made.

The signing of Jones will no doubt improve the healthy competition for available spots, especially in the hooker department with the Cowboys now having 4 of them in Aaron Payne, Clint Amos, James Segeyaro, and now Ben Jones.

We’ve already got good depth, but we get some good coverage around hooker and the halves now and that’ll be crucial to us during the season, particularly around Origin when we know we’ll be losing Johnathan (halfback Thurston),” Parr said.

“We expect that he will be putting his name forward to be included in the 17 for the round one game.”

Despite the signing of Jones however, it may not be the end of the Cowboys purchases, with the club still on the look-out for the final piece of the puzzle, a forward to bolster their depth.

“If we could find one more player that fits in with what Neil and the coaching staff want to do then that’ll be the icing on the cake there’s still room for us to pursue another player,” he said.

“A lot of clubs over the years have been able to sign good, quality players towards the beginning of the season and I don’t think this year will be any different, so we’ll continue to monitor different situations.”

By ricky

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