Johnathan Thurston backs Heilum Luki, Jeremiah Nanai as key a part of North Queensland Cowboys future

The North Queensland Cowboys have stunned followers and pundits alike in 2022, being a well-liked decide for the picket spoon earlier than a ball was kicked – and whereas there is a lengthy solution to go, a strong begin to the season has given them a platform to contend for a playoff spot.

While Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston stopped wanting taking a victory lap on Wide World of Sports’ JT’s Thought Bubble, he did stress the significance of preserving their younger gun enforcers, Heilum Luki and Jeremiah Nanai.

Luki re-signed for 3 extra years at the beginning of this season, whereas Nanai opted for a one-year deal; which is a web page straight out of the Thurston playbook, he stated.

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“I know Jeremiah’s got the same manager as mine (Sam Ayoub), so I’ve been into his ear – he’s doing the same thing he did with me, signing one year deals and then wait for the big one.

“So hopefully we are able to lock them each down as a result of little question in my thoughts, they will actually play consultant soccer.”

The Cowboys have let some of the game’s top tier talent leave in recent years – including Viliame Kikau, Kalyn Ponga, Brandon Smith and Jahrome Hughes – and have endured a torrid past few years as a result.

Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now.

But while it’s easy to say a bright future is just around the corner, with both Luki and Nanai already shining in first grade and others like Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow showing flashes of brilliance, the tide may finally be turning in Townsville.

Thurston’s prediction that the pair would play rep football comes just days after Nanai declared his loyalty to the Maroons, despite also being eligible for New Zealand.

“I’ve made my resolution. I wish to play for the Maroons, 100 per cent,” Nanai told reporters earlier this week.

“I’m glad I moved to Cairns once I was younger sufficient. Hopefully I do get the chance at some point to play Origin for Queensland.”

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