Reigning Northern Pride Player of the Year Ben Spina has capped off an outstanding 2014 season by signing a one-year NRL contract with the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys.
Spina won the Pride’s best player award at the club’s presentation night in Cairns last night, continuing a memorable year that has included making his NRL debut for the Cowboys as well as winning the Intrust Super Cup premiership and the NRL state championship final with the Pride.
His NQ debut came in round 17 against St George Illawarra in Sydney and he will now get the chance to add to that appearance by becoming a full-time member of the Cowboys’ NRL squad for the first time.
“After tasting success with the Pride and debuting in the NRL this year, my drive to become a regular NRL player has only increased,” Spina said.
“Being a local bloke, I’d like to bring my passion for the region to the team and I can’t wait for training to start.”
Spina joins Ben Hannant and Jake Granville (Brisbane Broncos), Kelepi Tanginoa (Parramatta Eels), Kyle McConnell (Burleigh Bears) and Cowboys NYC hooker Josh Chudleigh as new faces in North Queensland’s full-time NRL squad next season.
“Ben’s done everything required of him to win an NRL contract and we’re delighted that it’s our club that he’ll be with for 2015,” Cowboys general manager – football Peter Parr said.
“He is someone we’ve had our eyes on for some time and we’ve witnessed the hard work he’s put into his footy.
“He’s developed to a stage where he now warrants a contract like this to take his game to the next level.
“We definitely expect to see even more improvement when he’s part of the full-time NRL squad.”
Spina brought up a century of games for the Pride in the Intrust Super Cup grand final win against Easts.