Jason Taumalolo

A New Zealand born youngster who has earmarked himself as a player of the future after making history in 2010 as the youngest player to make his debut for the North Queensland Cowboys when he was selected to play his first NRL game aged just 17 years, 2 months and 21 days.

Still only 18 years of age, Taumalolo has established himself as one of the most promising young players in the Under-20s National Youth Competition having received the Rugby League Player’s Association’s Toyota Cup Player of the Year award in 2011 as well as being named in the Toyota Cup Team of the Year.

At representative level, he has already played for the Junior Kiwis in 2010 and 2011 having earlier been selected for the Queensland Under-18s and Australian Schoolboys at the age of 16 while still attending school in Townsville at Kirwan State High School.

In 2011, he took further steps towards establishing himself as an NRL regular after being selected to make three more appearances for the Cowboys – highlighted by a powerful display in Round 25 against Cronulla when he scored two tries.

Jason is quickly developing a reputation as the best young forward in the game, with some comparing him to some of the best forwards the game has seen such as Sonny Bill Williams.

2014 was a breakout season for Jason and he will look to build on the momentum in season 2015.

Jason built on his breakout 2014 season by taking his game and club to new heights in 2015. Collecting a wealth of individual accolades such as an NRL All-Stars selection, Dally M Lock of the Year, Jason’s cherishing moment was powering North Queensland to their first NRL Premiership in a golden-point thriller, in what has been described as one of the best games in NRL history.

2016 capped off Jason’s finest year as an individual after he was named RLPA Player of the Year (as voted by his peers) and Dally M Player of the Year alongside Cooper Cronk of the Melbourne Storm.

On 22 March, Taumalolo re-signed with the Cowboys on a 10-year deal, which will see him stay with the club until the end of the 2027 season. The deal is the longest in NRL history, surpassing Daly Cherry-Evans’ 8-year contract with the Manly Sea Eagles.