The North Queensland Cowboys have confirmed the long-term re-signing of star second-rower Heilum Luki.

Despite previously touring facilities at the St George Illawarra Dragons and being heavily linked with a switch to the Canberra Raiders, it has been confirmed that he has signed a five-year extension with the Cowboys, locking him down in Townsville until at least the end of 2029.

While injuries have wreaked havoc on his career in recent times, Luki's signing is an enormous boost for the Cowboys, who have also been linked with losing Kulikefu Finefeuiaki and have already released Luciano Leilua back to his junior club at the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Luki will now form the long-term second-row combination for Todd Payten's side with Queensland State of Origin player Jeremiah Nanai.

A product of the Northern Pride junior sides and Cowboys' Cairns Academy, Luki made his debut in Round 11 of the 2021 season. The now 23-year-old has featured at NRL level 40 times.

“We are pleased and proud to be able to confirm the re-signing of Heilum to a long-term extension,” Cowboys General Manager of Football Micheal Luck said in a club statement confirming the news.

“Heilum joins Tom Dearden as players who are committed to our Club for the longest duration, which as two North Queensland products we are thrilled about.

“Heilum came through our Cairns Academy and has already had to overcome numerous hurdles in his young career and has come back bigger and stronger on every occasion.

"We believe he's only just scratched the surface of his potential and are delighted we will have the opportunity to have him grow in a Cowboys jersey into the player and leader we know he will be.

“He epitomises everything we value as a club – he works hard at training, he's prepared to do the tough stuff on the field and on top of that he is one of the elite backrow talents in the competition.”

Luki is currently recovering from an ankle injury and is due back on the park in the next fortnight.