Cowboys out to secure club's rising talent

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North Queensland are looking to lock up their rising talent before season's end to ward off interest from swooping rival NRL clubs.

Scott Drinkwater, Jeremiah Nanai and Reece Robson have all starred in the second-placed Cowboys' season as they march towards their first finals appearance since 2017.

Worryingly for the Cowboys, all of them are off contract come the end of the season and are attracting interest given their rich vein in form.

Drinkwater signed a two-year contract extension in 2021 but can test the market on November 1, with reports four clubs are angling for his signature.

The 25-year-old has scored eight tries in 14 games this season after coming into the side in round five to replace an injured Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, and also boasts 14 try assists and 13 line assists.

His forward teammate Nanai burst onto the NRL scene in his rookie season and sits third on the NRL try scorers list with 16, also earning a State of Origin nod in his first year in the top flight.

He signed a one-year extension through to 2023 but can also test the market come November, while hooker Robson is also signed through to 2023.

Coach Todd Payten says with the success his club has enjoyed this year it's no surprise other clubs are circling.

"We understand that that's going to happen with us as a club and we've got some exciting players that are off contract," Payten told reporters on Friday.

"And they're going to receive interest from a number of clubs through the next little period.

"It's our obligation to make sure that we have an environment that they want to stay part of, winning games and improving them as footy players.

"We don't want our players to come off contract. Our intentions are to get them over the line before that date happens."

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