The North Queensland Cowboys have announced they will promote three players into their development squad for 2022.

While the club had already announced Riley Price as the first to join, they have today confirmed that Morgan McWhirter, Jordan Lipp and Tyreece Woods have also been handed development contracts.

Development contracts aren't counted in the NRL's top 30 squad, however, can play in matches after Round 10, or before if special dispensation is granted due to injuries or other exceptional circumstances at the club.

The Cowboys also announced Jeremiah Nanai and Laitia Moceidreke will form part of the top 30 squad for 2022.

McWhirter is the only forward of the group and has made nine Queensland Cup appearances for the Mackay Cutters this season. He has played mainly at lock in the reserve grade competition, but has put in solid performances and impressed the coaching staff at both the Cutters and Cowboys.

While he has had limited minutes and only started in two games, his impact off the bench has been solid.

Lipp and Woods both line up in the back seven. Lipp has an excellent creative game and can play in either the halves or at fullback. He has been one of the leading lights in the Hastings Derring Colts competition, scoring 16 tries in his 13 games for the Townsville Blackahwks' under-21s team this year.

It could be argued Woods would be further along in his career had he not torn his ACL at the back end of the 2020 season. The fullback or centre has missed the entire 2021 season, but has been on the radar of the Cowboys for some time and will look to impress in reserve grade early next year.