MACKAY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02: Jordan McLean of the Cowboys is tackled by Marion Seve of the Storm during the NRL Trial match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys on March 02, 2019 in Mackay, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

North Queensland Cowboys veteran forward Jordan McLean is reportedly set to extend his NRL career, with the prop to sign a contract extension with the club.

Speculation has suggested McLean, who is 31 years of age, could have been on his way out of the Cowboys at the end of the year.

It was believed there could have been interest both in the English Super League and with other NRL clubs. Manly clubs locally could use a veteran like McLean to add depth to the middle third rotation given the lack of talent available on the open market and the number of roster spots that are still to be filled across the competition for the 2024 campaign.

McLean, who plays his 200th NRL game next weekend, is yet to sign the deal from the Cowboys according to News Corp, but ultimately is likely to extend his time in Townsville.

The prop, who was born in Sydney, has for the most part struggled to replicate the form he displayed during the first part of his career at the Melbourne Storm which turned him into an Australian representative.

That was blown away in 2022 though when the prop found himself a surprise call up to the New South Wales Blues State of Origin squad for what would have been the first Origin of his career, only to have to pull out through injury.

The former eight-time Kangaroo has played 19 games this season, averaging 114 metres per game and tackling at over 96 per cent, and given his consistency starting every week, it's little surprise Todd Payten and his recruitment staff would be willing to offer McLean another year at the Cowboys, who are currently locked into a finals scrap.

The club has big outlays of money already in their cap for players like Chad Townsend, Jeremiah Nanai and Jason Taumalolo, so a cut-priced deal for McLean will also help on the money management side of the game given the number of players who will be in for upgrades at the end of 2024, headlined by Tom Dearden, who reportedly could sign a new deal worth as much as $800,000 per season.