NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 17: Reuben Cotter of the North Queensland Cowboys passes the ball during the round 22 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the North Queensland Cowboys at McDonald Jones Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

The North Queensland Cowboys have locked in hooker and lock forward Reuben Cotter on a new three-year contract extension.

Cotter was one of more than 150 players who were able to negotiate with other clubs from November 1, however, he has recommitted to the Cowboys until at least the end of 2025.

Sharing the hooking duties with Reece Robson, while also transforming himself into an option to play at lock the 22-year-old has made 21 NRL appearances and is clearly a significant part of the Cowboys' future plans.

While he only made six appearances in 2021, Cotter proved his versatility to the Cowboys, playing three games at lock and another three off the interchange bench, with some of that time spent in the dummy half role. He would have undoubtedly played more games if not for a lisfranc fracture which ruled him out for months.

The Cowboys have an over-abundance of dummy halves, with Jake Granville also at the club. However, with the grand final winner of 2015 now ageing into the later stages of his career, the Cowboys have earmarked Cotter and Robson to share the role moving forward, while Cotter will continue to also develop as a middle third forward.

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Cowboys' general manager of football Michael Luck said the club was thrilled that Cotter had extended his time in Townsville.

“We’re thrilled Reuben has extended for a further three seasons. He had significant interest from other clubs, but expressed his desire to remain here and we were able to get a deal done quickly,” Luck said.

“Reuben is a North Queensland kid who has all the characteristics we’re looking to build this club around. He’s tough, resilient, hard-working and loyal, which are the features we are looking to instill in our playing group.

“We also view him as a potential future leader of our club. Reuben has endured more setbacks to start his career than most would in a decade in the NRL, but the resilience he has shown to not only overcome serious injury, but develop into a crucial member of our squad has been phenomenal.”