Cowboys sign Marsters on three-year deal

Esan Marsters made his NRl debut in 2017 and played 61 games for Wests Tigers, scoring 17 tries.
Esan Marsters made his NRl debut in 2017 and played 61 games for Wests Tigers, scoring 17 tries.

North Queensland have landed Kiwis centre Esan Marsters on a three-year deal as they bolster their NRL backline for 2020.

Marsters was released by the Wests Tigers last week and is free to join the Cowboys over the summer, in time for their return to pre-season training next month.

The move is a crucial one for the Cowboys considering they let Jordan Kahu go at the end of the season, as the New Zealander weighs up whether to make the switch to rugby union.

Fellow 2019 backline recruits Ben Barba and Nene Macdonald also failed to see out the season, with Barba's exit for behavioural reasons confirmed before a game was even played this year.

Marsters' signing comes after the Cowboys used six different players in the centres this year, including second-rower Coen Hess towards the end of the season.

In Marsters they have a consistent NRL centre, with the Test representative having scored 17 tries in 63 games for the Tigers and maintaining a handy knack of being a regular tackle buster.

"Esan is a high-quality centre, he's an international and we believe he is one of the more dangerous outside backs in the NRL," Cowboys director of football Peter Parr said.

"The outside backs is an area we have been looking to increase our depth and we believe Esan is going to be a quality signing for our squad for 2020 and beyond.

"He's only 23, so his best football is still in front of him, which is exciting considering what he has already achieved in his career."

Meanwhile, it's understood playmaker Te Maire Martin will continue training with the Cowboys in the hope of resuming his career at the club next season.

Martin is unsigned for 2020 and hasn't played since he had a bleed on the brain in April.

He will have another scan on his brain next month in the hope he can return to playing duties and earn a new contract with North Queensland.

Australian Associated Press