James Tamou could have joined Super League club Wakefield Trinity but instead made his peace with retiring until the North Queensland Cowboys signed him.
The prop has had a stellar career in the NRL which was believed to be coming to an end as he prepared to leave the Wests Tigers.
There was plenty of Super League interest however with Wakefield Trinity keen on bringing the prop in.
However, the men from Belle Vue were trumped by a return to North Queensland Cowboys on a one-year deal which has been confirmed this morning by the club.
Tamou was a Grand Final with the Cowboys back in 2015 as they beat rivals Brisbane Broncos.
Tamou departed North Queensland for Penrith following the 2016 season and appeared in 97 games for the Panthers between 2017-20. He spent the previous two seasons with the Wests Tigers and was captain of both clubs, including the Panthers 2020 grand final team.
“We are excited to be able to add a player of James’ experience to our roster at this late stage, just prior to the commencement of our pre-season,” Cowboys General Manager of Football Micheal Luck said.
“He will bring professionalism and a strong work ethic, while also adding significant depth to our forward pack.
“James will be a wonderful influence for our excellent group of young forwards.”
Now Tamou has revealed he was ready to retire instead of making the move to Super League.
He told the Canberra Times:
“I thought it was over when the season finished last year.
“It was obviously a tough year at the Tigers. I had come to terms in my own mind with my career being over.
“I was actually back doing a bit of work. I was working doing a bit of delivery stuff just to pay the bills.
“Around grand final week I got a call from my manager saying the Cowboys were interested. I said ‘yes’ straight away.
“The opportunity at the Cowboys, not only do I get another shot but I get to enjoy it a bit more knowing it is my last (contract).
“It is also a full-circle moment. I can finish my career where it all started.”
The publication also said he didn’t find the move to Super League “appealing.”