James Tamou has confirmed his NRL future, signing a one-year deal to return to the North Queensland Cowboys.

Tamou began his NRL career with the Cowboys back in 2009, playing 170 games for the club where he also became a New South Wales and Australian representative.

He would then shift to the Penrith Panthers in 2017 as the club built, leaving for the Wests Tigers after their first grand final appearance of three in a row during the 2020 season.

His last two seasons at the Wests Tigers have seen Tamou's level decrease though, playing in a well-beaten side. The veteran forward, who is now aged 33, has struggled to find form at the joint venture during his 38 games for the club.

The Palmerston North-born forward's return to the Cowboys will see him aim to add a second premiership to his time at the club, having been involved in the 2015 effort.

Michael Luck - the club's director of football - said he was excited to add Tamou to the club.

“We are excited to be able to add a player of James' experience to our roster at this late stage, just prior to the commencement of our pre-season,” Luck said.

“He will bring professionalism and a strong work ethic, while also adding significant depth to our forward pack.

“James will be a wonderful influence for our excellent group of young forwards.”

The one-year deal could serve as the final of Tamou's career, but he will bring experience to the Cowboys' forward pack in 2023, where he will compete for minutes in the middle third alongside the likes of Reuben Cotter, Coen Hess, Jordan McLean, Griffin Neame, Emry Pere and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown.

1 COMMENT

  1. “He will bring professionalism and a strong work ethic, while also adding significant depth to our forward pack.”

    Yeah, that nails it. They aren’t signing him as a “top-of-his-career”, Junior Paulo type of forward, but for his ability to influence the kids and keep them on the straight and narrow. Good luck to him – half a dozen appearances and he’ll be in top-30 for games played in the NRL.

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