RISING STAR: Josh Chudleigh of the Cowboys runs the ball during the round 18 NRL match against the Canberra Raiders.
RISING STAR: Josh Chudleigh of the Cowboys runs the ball during the round 18 NRL match against the Canberra Raiders. Brendon Thorne

Promising Cowboy’s future is clear as Chud

RUGBY LEAGUE: Josh Chudleigh scored a slashing 30m try on debut for the Cowboys against the Raiders two weeks ago, but where he’ll be next year is uncertain.

The promising hooker is off-contract at the end of this year and is yet to re-commit to North Queensland, with dynamic No.9s Jake Granville and Rory Kostjasyn at the club.

The 22-year-old from Bungendore, near Canberra, wants to play at a club that will give him the best opportunity to play regularly in the NRL.

That is difficult for him right now with defending premiers the Cowboys.

There is, however, strong speculation Kostjasyn could end up at either Newcastle or in the English Super League next season.

But Melbourne utility Ben Hampton is set to join the Cowboys in 2017 and provide stiff competition to Chudleigh if he stays in Townsville.

“We’ll just see what happens. My manager sorts all that stuff out,” Chudleigh told Australian Regional Media when asked whether he would remain at the Cowboys next year.

“I just need to worry about trying to play consistent, good footy and letting that stuff talk for itself.

“It’s wherever there’s more of an opportunity to play NRL, I guess.

“I’m very grateful with my time at the Cowboys – they’ve been pretty good to me so far.”

Chudleigh, who was the Mackay Cutters’ player of the year and the Intrust Super Cup’s hooker of the year in 2015, said it had been an “awesome” experience learning off Kostjasyn and Granville.

“Jakey and Rory are two very different players, so I’ve got the best of both worlds,” Chudleigh said.

“Rory is real dominant and controlling and Jakey is very good in attack.

“The role I’m going to play if I play NRL is coming off the bench and trying to make an impact and to be attacking, so I try to be similar to him (Granville).”

Despite a memorable debut in North Queensland’s 26-12 loss to Canberra when it was without its Origin stars in round 18, Chudleigh said he still had plenty to improve on.

“It was definitely a learning experience playing NRL. You learn a lot of little things not many people see, but stuff the coaches see,” he said.

“It’s good to get plenty of feedback and practise it out here (for the Cutters).

“You can always be doing more.”