North Queensland Cowboys confirm 2024 NRL squad, including former Hull FC ace Jake Clifford & Papua New Guinea duo

Drew Darbyshire
Jake Clifford Zac Laybutt North Queensland Cowboys Alamy

Jake Clifford (left) and Zac Laybutt (right) in action - Alamy

North Queensland Cowboys have confirmed their squad for the 2024 NRL season, including former Hull FC half-back Jake Clifford and a plethora of international representatives.

Todd Payten’s side get their NRL season underway with a trip to the Dolphins on March 10.

A familiar face to Super League fans amongst the Cowboys squad is Jake Clifford, who has returned to Australia after spending the 2023 campaign with Hull FC, scoring six tries and kicking 54 goals in 26 appearances for Tony Smith’s side.

Of North Queensland’s 28-man squad for the 2024 season, 12 of them have represented their countries on the international stage, with eight having played in the State of Origin arena.

Winger Robert Derby and centre Zac Laybutt both represented Papua New Guinea in the autumn just gone, helping the Kumuls win the first-ever Pacific Bowl.

Justin Holbrook’s PNG side beat Fiji in the Pacific Bowl final in Port Moresby, with Fijian international Semi Valemei also part of the Cowboys squad in 2024.

Meanwhile, prop Griffin Neame made his international debut for New Zealand last year, helping the Kiwis win the inaugural Pacific Cup as they beat Australia 30-0 in the final.

The Cowboys have got five players among their ranks who have played for Australia on the international stage – Reuben Cotter, Valentine Holmes, Jordan McLean, Jeremiah Nanai and Murray Taulagi, with the latter also having represented Samoa.

Back-row pair Heilum Luki and Luciano Leilua have also donned the Samoan jersey.

Powerhouse Jason Taumalolo has won 26 caps international caps in total for New Zealand and Tonga, captaining the latter at the delayed 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

The Cowboys also have two Indigenous All Stars representatives in the shape of forward duo Cotter and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown.

North Queensland’s eight players who have Origin honours are Tom Dearden, Kyle Feldt, Coen Hess, Cotter, Holmes Nanai, Taulagi (all Queensland) and Reece Robson (New South Wales).

North Queensland Cowboys 2024 squad

Tom Chester

Jake Clifford

Reuben Cotter

Tom Dearden

Robert Derby

Scott Drinkwater

Tom Duffy

Kyle Feldt

Kulikefu Finefeuiaki

Jack Gosiewski

Jake Granville

Coen Hess

Valentine Holmes

Zac Laybutt

Luciano Leilua

Heilum Luki

Sam McIntyre

Jordan McLean

Jeremiah Nanai

Griffin Neame

D’Jazirhae Pua’avase

Reece Robson

Murray Taulagi

Jason Taumalolo

Jamayne Taunoa-Brown

Chad Townsend

Viliami Vailea

Semi Valemei

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