Cowboys lock in powerhouse prop for life
MATT Scott is officially a Cowboy for life, inking a two-year deal that will see him finish his career at the only club he has ever known.
In a week where Queensland's north has been battered by Cyclone Debbie, its football club has nailed down the pillars of its forward pack with Scott's retention following on from Jason Taumalolo's recent $10 million, 10-year "lifetime" contract.
The Cowboys have stood by their skipper with an extension through to the end of 2019 despite his season-ending ACL rupture suffered in round two.
That injury saw the cashed-up Knights drop their pursuit of the 31-year-old prop, who will be 34 and almost certainly ready for retirement when his new deal wraps up.
The club will announce Scott's retention on Thursday morning, with coach Paul Green vowing the Cowboys would "do the right thing by Thumper" in the wake of his devastating injury earlier this month.
While he has been plagued by consistent neck and back issues in recent seasons, Scott's retention adds serious reinforcement to the power game that took the Cowboys to their maiden 2015 premiership.
The losses of James Tamou (Penrith) and Ben Hannant (retirement) had plenty fearing for North Queensland's front-row stocks well before Scott went down against the Broncos.
But the emergence of boom youngsters Coen Hess and Ethan Lowe, as well as Taumalolo's ongoing rise as an elite forward, will cushion those blows throughout 2017.
With the arrival of Storm recruit Jordan McLean in 2018, Scott's influence is seen as crucial in their development into senior roles over coming seasons.
The Longreach local has played all 233 of his NRL matches with the Townsville outfit, and currently sits behind only Matthew Bowen (270 games) and co-captain Johnathan Thurston (267) as the most-capped Cowboys of all time.
While the lack of certainty around next year's salary cap has stalled Thurston's talks with the club, veteran Gavin Cooper and forwards Scott Bolton, John Asiata and Patrick Kaufusi also remain off-contract.