North Queensland Cowboys confirm nine players to leave club

Drew Darbyshire

North Queensland Cowboys have confirmed that nine players will leave the club at the end of the season.

The departing cast is obviously headlined by retiring club legend Johnathan Thurston. The Australia and Queensland star is the most capped Cowboy in club history, making a total of 294 appearances.

Samoa international Antonio Winterstein acted on medical advice and opted to retire immediately late in the campaign.

Scotland duo Lachlan Coote and Kane Linnett will leave the club at the end of the season. Coote won the Grand Final with the Cowboys in 2015 and has most recently been linked with a move to St Helens for 2019. Linnett has spent seven seasons at the club, playing 164 games.

Shaun Fensom made 35 appearances for the club during his two-year stint, while Sam Hoare departs after an injury-interrupted career. He was limited to just 21 appearances across five seasons.

Another player struck by an injury curse, hooker Josh Chudleigh was never able to add to his one NRL game.

Playmaker Kyle Laybutt will leave after playing two games in 2017, while Shaun Hudson will also leave after three seasons at the Cowboys.