SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Ben Hannant of the Cowboys looks on during the round six NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the North Queensland Cowboys at Pepper Stadium on April 9, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

The chances of Lachlan Coote remaining at North Queensland appear to be increasing by the day, placing huge question marks over a number of off-contract stars at the Cowboys, headlined by veteran duo Antonio Winterstein and Ben Hannant.

The premiership-winning pair have both expressed a desire to play on and have shown they are more than capable of doing so.

However, with 15 players off contract, the Cowboys face a salary cap squeeze and are will almost certainly be farewelling a handful of their premiership-winning squad at season’s end.

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Justin O’Neill has been linked with a return to Melbourne, who are desperately short on outside back, while Winterstein, 27, has been touted as a potential option for Gold Coast, with the Samoan international providing quality and experience in the outside backs where the Titans are light-on for depth.

Read more at The Australian

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