Cowboys lock premiership winner into new deal
SILKY-skilled Sydney boy John Asiata will continue his North Queensland adventure for a further three seasons after agreeing to a contract extension with the Cowboys.
The 24-year-old has blossomed under head coach Paul Green's tutelage since answering the call to play under him at the Cowboys following a fruitful partnership in the Roosters' under-20s team in the 2012-13 seasons.
"I've loved every minute of my time at the Cowboys and am jumping out of my skin at what lies ahead," Asiata said.
"All the coaches, the high-performance unit, the wider club and of course our amazing members and fans have all combined to make my North Queensland experience truly memorable.
"I look forward to giving back by playing some good footy for the remainder of 2017 and into the future."
Currently in his fourth season at the Cowboys, the former National Youth Competition lock of the year linked with the Cowboys for the 2014 season on a two-year deal.
He debuted in round 12 that year against the Melbourne Storm, playing six games in his rookie year before becoming a staple in Green's 17 in the team's relentless charge to a maiden premiership in 2015.
The young ball-playing forward has 60 NRL games under his belt over four seasons and will continue to be a key member of Green's core forward rotation.
Asiata has represented Samoa - most recently in a Test against England earlier this month - and is active in the community, nominated for the Ken Stephen Medal for his outstanding work in that space.
"John's a quality footballer and a quality young man, attributes highly valued at the Cowboys," said general manager of football Peter Parr.
"He was a key member of our premiership side in 2015 and since then has continued to work hard to improve his game."
Also joining the Cowboys main squad from next season will be crafty halfback and current under-20s Cowboy Jake Clifford.
The Tully junior, 19, has been a standout performer for coach Aaron Payne in his debut National Youth Competition season and will join the main squad on a two-year deal from 2018.