The North Queensland Cowboys have officially signed Semi Valemei from the Canberra Raiders for the next year and a half.

The winger, who can also line up in the centres, is a Fijian representative, but has struggled to find his way into first-grade action at the Raiders at recent times.

Making his NRL debut for the Green Machine in Round 10 of the 2020 season, Valemei has played 29 games for the Raiders, with ten of those coming in his rookie year.

He played 11 in 2021, 8 last year, and is yet to feature this year, sitting behind a backline which has featured the likes of Sebastian Kris, Matthew Timoko, Jarrod Croker, Albert Hopoate, Jordan Rapana and Nick Cotric.

Instead, Valemei has been required to run out for the NSW Cup outfit in Canberra, and in his seven games at that level, has struck with six tries and an average of 122 metres per game.

His impressive form has seen the Cowboys sign him until the end of the 2024 season following the recent releases of Laitia Moceidreke (Newcastle Knights) and Jordan Lipp (Western Clydesdales). Those moves were confirmed by Zero Tackle during the week, and have now been made official by the club.

Valemei will add to the depth of North Queensland's struggling backline, and could come into calculations during Origin time, with Murray Taulagi and Valentine Holmes both in the mix for Billy Slater's Queensland outfit.

Cowboys' general manager of football Michael Luck said the signing was a good one for the Cowboys, noting Valemei's talent in the air while also revealing the Cowboys tried to bring the Fijian into the squad last year.

“We're excited to be able to bring a player of Semi's ability to our club at this stage of the season,” Cowboys General Manager of Football Micheal Luck said in a club statement.

“Semi has played 29 games at NRL level and has shown he's a gifted finisher, strong defensively and talented in the air.

“He will provide us with depth, particularly in the next six weeks as we head into the Origin period.

“We looked at bringing Semi into the squad last year, which didn't work out, but we are excited to secure his services for the rest of this year and 2024.”

In addition to his 29 NRL games, Valemei has played five Tests for Fiji.