Drinkwater inks new NRL deal with Cowboys

Five-eighth Scott Drinkwater has agreed to a new two-year NRL deal to stay at North Queensland.

SCOTT DRINKWATER of the Cowboys.
SCOTT DRINKWATER of the Cowboys. Picture: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

North Queensland five-eighth Scott Drinkwater has finalised a two-year deal to remain at the Cowboys.

The 23-year-old has appeared in 34 games over the past three seasons while finding form in 2021 with his team on the fringe of the top eight.

Drinkwater leads the Cowboys with five try assists in 2021 and has also added two tries in eight games.

After being told by coach Todd Payten he was the "next cab off the rank", the playmaker is delighted to now focus on the season ahead.

"I'm extremely happy and excited to be able to stay in Townsville over the next two years," he said.

"I love it up here, I love everything about the club and the fans.

"I'm excited that now I can just focus on playing my best footy and not have to worry about anything else."

While speculation surrounded the in-form five-eighth with offers from other clubs, Drinkwater says he's committed to the Cowboys who have shown belief in him since his arrival.

"This club gave me an opportunity to be a full-time first grader in 2019," he said.

"I felt like I wanted to stay here and give back to the club that's given me the opportunity to be a weekly first grader.

"So, no temptation to leave."

Payten says his young playmaker's development this season is an exciting prospect for years to come.

"I've really seen (his) game grow since the season started as he's understanding what it takes to become a five-eighth at NRL level," he said.

"He's quick, he can identify space, he's skilful and he's learning he doesn't always need to make the big play.

"It's about applying pressure to the other team through field position.

"I'm excited we have been able to retain (Scott) at the Cowboys and I believe he is going to be a major asset for our club moving forward."