Could this be the next Jason Taumalolo?
DAVID Scott knew Peter Hola would be something special the first time the young forward wore a Northern Pride jersey.
"He will be a 10-year NRL player," Scott declared.
Signed to North Queensland Cowboys' National Youth Competition program in 2017, Hola found himself playing for the Pride's under-20s team for much of last year.
Scott, who coached the side, said he was not surprised to learn Hola signed a four-year deal at the Cowboys earlier this week.
It is a deal which elevates the towering forward to the Cowboys' 30-man squad, which could allow the Junior Kiwis representative an opportunity to earn an NRL debut this season.
When asked to compare Hola's playing style and ability to a current NRL player, both Scott and the Pride's Intrust Super Cup coach Ty Williams nominated wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo.
"He is a similar build to Jason Taumalolo, but he's got good footwork and a lovely offload which means he moves the ball," Williams said.
Williams gave Hola a chance to play the Pride's final Intrust Super Cup game of the season last year, but you wouldn't have known it was his debut.
"He did more than hold his own in that game," Williams said.
Scott had an up-close look at the man as the teenager developed into a powerhouse.
He watched him not only play for the Pride, who reached the finals, but saw how he dedicated himself to training and threw himself into any challenge that arised.
Scott is the first to say it won't be an easy step up to the NRL squad, but he backed Hola to continue to impress Cowboys coach Paul Green, and not just on the field.
"Everyone struggled to contain him," Scott said.
"He was a little bit raw but he has the footwork, speed, and ability to play big minutes, which helped us enormously.
"I've only got good things to say about him."
Cowboys director of football Peter Parr regards Hola as one of the best young forwards in rugby league.
"To be able to play Queensland Cup last year and hold his own at such a young age in the middle of the field showed us we had a special talent on our hands," Parr said.