NRL Rd 3 - Broncos v Cowboys
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Jeremiah Nanai of the Cowboys (L) is tackled by Herbie Farnworth of the Broncos during the round three NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, on March 27, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Dan Peled/Getty Images)

North Queensland Cowboys star forward Jeremiah Nanai is in no rush to confirm his future, with the Queensland State of Origin representative confirming he will wait until November 1 to sign a new deal.

He also took a subtle dig at David Fifita, suggesting he would "never slack off" if he landed a contract the size of the one Fifita is currently on at the Gold Coast Titans.

“I don’t worry about all that stuff off the field, I just like to play footy,” Nanai told The Daily Telegraph.

“I rate him [Fifita], I don’t know what’s going on with him and stuff like that. But if I ever get a contract like that, I’ll never slack off.

“I won’t put myself first, I always put the team first.”

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Nanai, who was originally off-contract at the end of 2022, late last year signed a one-year extension at the Cowboys, tipping that his value would rise again by the end of 2023.

Now an Origin player and one of the most dangerous edge forwards in the game, Nanai's gamble has paid off and multiple clubs are said to be interested in the star again, as they were 12 months ago, although this time for higher salaries.

Nanai has previously spoken out about his desire to remain at the Cowboys, and re-iterated that again speaking to the publication, still stated that he is in no rush to re-sign.

“My contract was about to end so I wanted to get something sorted out for next year so just did the one-year deal,” Nanai said.

“I would love to stay here long-term. When it comes November 1, we can negotiate with the Cowboys and look to stay longer.

“It would definitely be hard to leave. The Cows have been good to me. They have been a good club for myself.

“I’ve got family close by, just four hours away. The missus is here too. It would be hard to make a move somewhere else, especially to a big city.

“I’ll leave it to November 1. I just want to focus on the Cowboys this year.”

Despite wanting to stay at the Cowboys, the club have privately acknowledged previously that it could become a difficult exercise to keep the star if other clubs line up.

Their desire to keep Nanai made the signing of Luciano Leilua - who will now compete for spots with Nanai and Heilum Luki once he returns from an ACL injury next year - came as something of a surprise.

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Tom Gilbert's departure to the Dolphins does offset some of the problem in the competition for minutes, however, even with the trio playing it will likely leave Mitchell Dunn and Ben Condon - another young gun - sitting on the sidelines, missing out on Todd Payten's first-choice 17.

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It was tipped before the signing of Leilua that the trio of young guns would be the future on the edge for the Cowboys, however, it now looks ever-likely that Condon will have to depart Townsville for first-grade minutes.

He may yet hang around though, with Cowboys' director of football Michael Luck telling the publication that it would be a tough job to hold onto Nanai, although suggested that having his upbringing in Cairns may sway the decision.

“If there is going to be a club that comes up with a long-term offer worth $1 million bucks a year, it will be difficult to keep him,” Luck said.

“But Jeremiah has put some roots down on and off the field here and I would like to think he is a big part of what we are trying to build over the next few years.

“Without having any formal discussions with his management as yet, we’d like to think we can put forward a competitive offer.

“Both parties were happy with the one year extension so we could get a better gauge of how quickly he had come on. He has done really well and exceeded everyone’s expectations with what he has done on the field.

“I don’t think he can play the type of footy he is if he wasn’t happy. This club was built for North Queensland players to represent their home region in the NRL without having to travel too far from where they were brought up.

“Jeremiah has been in Cairns since his pre-teen years and we would like to think he will want to stay here for a long time to come yet.”

Nanai will be able to negotiate with other clubs from November 1.