Warriors star Peta Hiku has signed a two-year contract with the North Queensland Cowboys, set to begin next season.
The Kiwi international joins Tom Dearden and Chad Townsend in migrating north for 2022 as coach Todd Payten looks to shape the Cowboys into a premiership force.
In a statement released on Monday, Payten said he had been impressed by Hiku’s versatility across his 147 NRL games.
Payten previously worked with the 28-year-old during his stint as the Warriors’ interim coach last season.
“Peta is a smart and experienced centre who has also shown he can play fullback and in the halves,” Payten said.
“He’s really creative for his outside men, he’s a try scorer himself and he’s a good family man who is going to add value to the club on and off the field.”
North Queensland also hopes the former Panther and Sea Eagle can add much-needed experience to its young roster.
“We’ve made no secret of our desire to add leadership to our exciting young playing roster, and Peta is a guy who has experience in high-performing systems over a long period of time,” said Cowboys head of football Micheal Luck.
“We feel Peta has some great football ahead of him, and he is excited at the prospect of showing our young outside backs what it takes to be successful in the NRL.”
Hiku began his NRL career with the Sea Eagles. Picture: Gregg PorteousSource:News Corp Australia
Injury has limited Hiku’s NRL appearances to four this year.
A shoulder injury will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the year before he packs his bags for Townsville in the off-season.
The signing bolsters North Queensland’s healthy outside back stocks, with both Kyle Feldt and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow on the books for 2022.
It remains to be seen whether electric winger Murray Taulagi and two-time premiership-winning centre Justin O’Neill will extend their stay in North Queensland beyond this season.
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