Young Cowboys forward John Asiata has extended his playing contract with North Queensland for another two years, until the end of 2017.
Asiata is a consistent performer for the Cowboys, averaging 77 run metres and 16 tackles per game in 2015, but has picked up the slack in the absence of Jason Taumalolo with an average of 114 metres and 18 tackles in his two games at lock.
The stocky back-rower has warmed to North Queensland since his mid-season move last year, saying Townsville is the best place for his footy and personal life.
"It wasn't the hardest decision," Asiata said Thursday morning.
"I feel like I'm at home. Compare now to the first six weeks I was here, I was homesick and right now I just don't want to leave.
"The club has done a lot for me in the two years that I've been here and I've enjoyed every part of it.
"I've enjoyed everything and I'm starting to settle in. The partner is up now and we've just moved in together so I couldn't tell her at the end of the year that I'd have to move again, so I guess the best thing was to stay here and get another two years under my belt."
A product of Patrician Brothers College Blacktown, the 22-year-old has held a spot in every Cowboys side this season after making his debut against the Melbourne Storm in Round 12 last year.
Cowboys football manager Peter Parr also sees Asiata as a good investment for the club.
"John is a fantastic young player and the club is delighted that he will continue his football and personal development with the Cowboys," Parr said.
"He is improving with every match and we look forward to him continuing his career at the club that gave him his NRL debut."