With the ink still fresh on a new deal in Townsville, James Tamou is set to cap a remarkable twelve months by being voted the premier prop in the National Rugby League and sealing a spot in the NRL All Stars squad.
The only thing standing between him and the mantle as the best front rower in rugby league is North Queensland colleague, Matt Scott.
Scott has been a cornerstone for the Cowboys, Queensland and Australia for a number of years. But times change and Tamou is ready to add an All Stars jumper to a rapidly growing wardrobe.
After the first round of fan voting, Tamou was the most voted Cowboy. A sign of the respect that the New South Wales bookend has earned in a very short amount of time.
North Queensland’s general manager Peter Parr was a happy man on Monday after Tamou had officially re-signed with the club.
“After the way he played this year, I think everyone now knows what a talented footballer James is,” Parr told cowboys.com.au.
“His 2012 season was one of the best by a front-rower in this club’s history.
“Not only did he play representative football, he excelled at that level and he was among our best players week-in, week-out with his teammates recognising him with the Players’ Player of the Year Award.
“At 24, his best years as a forward in the NRL are still ahead of him and our members and fans can look forward to at least his next four years being with the Cowboys.”
Tamou’s evolution into a powerhouse of the NRL is no surprise. Things move quickly in rugby league and Tamou is no exception.
His size and aggression makes him the polar opposite to team mate, Scott. The Queenslander has prided himself on consistency and a workload few others can match.
But when it comes to excitement and raw talent, Tamou is streets ahead.
“It’s very humbling to have so much support from the fans” Tamou told nrl.com.
“It’s a bit of a shock really.
“I’d love to play in the All Stars game so hopefully the votes keep coming in.”
At 6 foot 4 and 115 kilograms, Tamou has the world at his feet in more ways than one.