Granville inching closer to new Cowboys deal
The Cowboys are confident of securing premiership-winning hooker Jake Granville for the rest of his NRL career as fellow title-winner Lachlan Coote weighs up his options elsewhere.
NRL.com understands that Granville is close to inking a three-year extension with North Queensland, with the finer details of the deal being ironed out as he prepares to face Storm champion Cameron Smith in Friday's grand final rematch.
Re-signing Granville, 29, until the end of 2021 would keep him at North Queensland well into the back end of his career, despite recent interest from Wests Tigers.
Granville currently trails Andrew McCullough and Jake Friend in the race to succeed Smith at Origin level, but has been a proven performer and a favourite of coach Paul Green since moving from Brisbane in 2014.
Granville's rapid rise played a key role in the Cowboys' maiden premiership in 2015.
Coote's part in that triumph is held in similar regard both inside and out of the club, but the off-contract No.1 is yet to receive an offer from North Queensland as the Telstra Premiership rounds its halfway point.
The 28-year-old was dropped to the Intrust Super Cup last week as Green shuffled Michael Morgan to the back in last week's loss to South Sydney, which leaves the Cowboys with a 3-8 record and entering the Origin period in second-last place.
Coote has been limited to just five games this season by a hamstring injury, and while he remains in the Cowboys 19-man squad for the Melbourne clash, he has also been named at fullback for Mackay again this week.
"We're going to explore all options from here out, that's the point we're at with Lachlan," Coote's manager Mark Stewart told NRL.com.
Cowboys general manager Peter Parr told The Courier Mail last week that the club have not ruled out retaining the Scottish international, whose preference is to stay in Townsville.
When Coote was last off contract in 2016 he almost joined the Roosters on a lucrative four-year deal before a last-minute decision to stay with North Queensland, and has been linked with a return to Sydney once more.
He is one of several Cowboys off contract as they look to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Storm that stretches back to the 2015 preliminary final.
While Justin O'Neill and Ethan Lowe both have player options in their favour for next season, Shaun Fensom, Kane Linnett and Antonio Winterstein are other senior men with their futures still to be sorted.