Scott Drinkwater has joined the Cowboys from the Storm. Picture: Getty Images
Scott Drinkwater has joined the Cowboys from the Storm. Picture: Getty Images

Cowboys snare rising Melbourne Storm star

The man appointed Billy Slater's heir apparent has become North Queensland's fullback of the future, as the Storm roped in two new players of their own.

On a busy day of NRL signing news, Drinkwater's move to the Cowboys was confirmed as Melbourne snared Warriors centre Solomone Kata and Titans forward Max King.

Drinkwater landed in Townsville earlier Monday morning to sign with the club, in a move that will bolster the Cowboys backline options in the midst of injury turmoil.

A deal which has been rumoured for the past month was made official Monday afternoon with Storm granting a release to the fullback.

Drinkwater was billed as the first-choice replacement for the retired legend Billy Slater at the Storm this season before a pre-season pectoral injury, sustained against the Cowboys in Mackay, ruled him off the field for the first half of the season.

It opened the door for former Cowboy Jahrome Hughes to cement himself as the first choice fullback while whiz-kid Ryan Papenhuyzen has shown his ability off the pine.

Drinkwater has since slipped down the pecking order, and with a desire to play regular first grade, the Sunshine Coast Falcons custodian has looked to the Cowboys.

On the eve of the announcement Slater described Drinkwater as the best of the three, and said he was disappointed to see him leave Melbourne.

"To be honest out of the three he's probably got the most brilliance with the ball in hand. He could be a special player in our game," Slater said.

 

Solomone Kata has left the Warriors to join the Storm, Picture: AAP
Solomone Kata has left the Warriors to join the Storm, Picture: AAP

 

Cowboys director of football Peter Parr said he believed the fullback would add "significant value" to the squad.

"We were always looking to fill the last spot in our squad with somebody we thought could add significant value," Parr said.

"Scott is a highly accomplished player and has the ability to play multiple positions, which led us to believe he would be an ideal signing for us at this stage of the year."

News Corp Australia