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Ben Spina is one Cowboys forward that will need to lift when Origin players depart.

The North Queensland Cowboys can announce that Ingham product Ben Spina has signed a contract extension until the end of the 2017 season.

The 27-year-old second-rower will continue his time with the Cowboys after being a valuable member of coach Paul Green’s forward rotation this season.

The son of foundation Cowboys captain Laurie Spina, Ben said the most important thing for him and his rugby league career was to stay in his local area.

“I’m thrilled to be able to remain in North Queensland, playing for the Cowboys and continuing to develop as a player,” Spina said.

“My family were keen for me to remain in North Queensland, so this is the perfect fit.”