The North Queensland Cowboys have added to their roster for the 2023 NRL season, signing Gehamat Shibasaki.

The former Newcastle Knights centre and winger played 14 games for the club between 2020 and 2021, having previously debuted in 2018 for the Brisbane Broncos where he played the first 13 games of his career.

In between Shibasaki moved to Japan where he played rugby union after leaving the Knights, but would return to Australia at the back end of 2022, singing a train and trial deal with the Cowboys and spending time with the Mackay Cutters through the closing months of the season.

His form with the Cutters was good enough for the Cowboys to upgrade him to a Top 30 contract for the 2023 campaign, with the Townsville-born 24-year-old looking to add to his 27 games in first-grade.

He scored just 6 tries in those games and at times struggled for form and continuity within the side.

It was form which, in five games, saw Shibasaki score two tries, make three line breaks, 28 tackle busts and 178 metres per game.

“We brought Gehamat in on a train and replacement contract late last season and he impressed everyone with his professionalism, energy and enthusiasm,” Cowboys General Manager of Football Micheal Luck said in a club statement.

“Gehamat adds experience and depth to our outside back stocks. We know he will train hard and tick every box off the field, which is what Todd and his coaching staff ask of our players.

“It's fantastic we have been able to bring a North Queenslander home and he now gets a great opportunity to add to his tally of first grade games.”