The Dolphins have landed their ninth top 30 signing for 2023, with Tom Gilbert to make the switch from the North Queensland Cowboys.

Gilbert has signed a three-year deal with the club which will lock him into the Redcliffe-based club until at least the end of the 2025 season.

The young Cowboys forward is rated as one of the hardest workers in the game, having topped the QLD Cup tackles and running metres during his debut season in reserve grade as an 18-year-old.

Since then, he has gone on to play 30 games, transitioning onto the edge this year for Todd Payten's side where he has played all seven games, scoring a try and making 220 tackles at almost 95 per cent efficiency.

The combination of being able to play on both the edge and in the middle will suit the Dolphins given the number of specific forwards they have already signed in Melbourne Storm trio Jesse Bromwich, Kenneath Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi, as well as Mark Nicholls and Ray Stone.

Dolphins CEO Terry Reader said Gilbert was an important signing for the club.

“One of the key strategies for establishing the Dolphins in the NRL is to give more young local players the opportunity to progress to the elite level of the game,” Reader said.

“Tom is a perfect example of someone who may not have had to leave Brisbane originally if there were more opportunities to enter professional systems.

“We are very excited he has decided to come home to Brisbane and join us for our inaugural season.

“He is a young, tough and uncompromising forward who has now established himself as an NRL-class player.

“What is most exciting for the Dolphins is we know he has the best years of his career just ahead of him.”

Gilbert is a former Queensland under-20s representative, having played alongside other now established first grade players Ronaldo Mulitalo, Tesi Niu, Murray Taulagi, Braydon Trindall, Cory Paix, Kobe Hetherington, Ethan Bullemor and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui in the 2019 edition.