North Queensland Cowboys
The North Queensland Cowboys are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Townsville, Queensland. They compete in Australasia's elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership.
The Cowboys were admitted to the premiership for the 1995 ARL season and subsequently played in the Super League competition in 1997 before continuing to compete in the current National Rugby League competition from 1998 to the present day. The club have never won a premiership, however reached the Grand Final in 2005.
The Cowboys play their home games at Dairy Farmers Stadium in the City of Townsville, North Queensland. On 28 August 2007 it was announced that after 6 years of ownership, News Limited had sold the team to the Cowboys League Club.
The Cowboys name and team colours were decided by public competition in 1994.
One of the major difficulties that faced the club in their early years was attracting followers from the more established Queensland-based Winfield Cup side, the Brisbane Broncos. This was exacerbated by an initial lack of onfield success and stability. In their first two seasons, the Cowboys had eight different captains.
Currently the club has gone under a huge cleanout within the club favourites Luke O'Donnell, Carl Webb, Steve Southern and Anthony Watts as well as a host of other players.
The club did sign high profile players such as Brent Tate and Dallas Johnson as well as a host of young talents including U20 Toyota Cup Player of the Year Tariq Sims, Kalifa Fai-Fai Loa and Blake Leary. The club has also promoted players Ray Thompson, Michael Morgan, James Segeyaro and Jack Cooper from their U20 squad.
The clubs depth will be tested early in the season after Brent Tate went under a third knee reconstruction which will see Tate miss all of the season.