Queensland rookies into Cowboys top squad

Four North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Under 20s stars have been rewarded with NRL contacts for the 2019 season.

Middle forwards Tom Gilbert and Logan Bayliss, hooker Reuben Cotter and centre Kurt Wiltshire will graduate to the NRL squad next season.

Bayliss had a sensational season for Cowboys feeder club the Townsville Blackhawks in the Hastings Deering Colts under 20s competition.

A member of the victorious Queensland under 20s State of Origin squad, Bayliss appeared in 21 games for the Blackhawks in 2018, averaging 114 running metres, three tackle breaks and 16 tackles a game.

Logan Bayliss in action for Townsville Blackhawks in the Hastings Deering Colts competition.
Logan Bayliss in action for Townsville Blackhawks in the Hastings Deering Colts competition.

Gilbert emerged as one of the brightest prospects in the game after a brilliant season. After starring for the Queensland under 18s, Gilbert moved up to the under 20s with the Blackhawks and was almost unstoppable before going down with a leg injury late in the season.

The Brisbane product ran for at least 150 metres in seven of his 10 Hastings Deering Colts matches, including a monstrous 218 metre, five tackle-break performance against the Sunshine Coast in Round 17.

Cotter has missed the entirety of the last two seasons after suffering a serious knee injury early in 2017, but has impressed Cowboys staff with his work ethic during his rehab and is expected to be fully fit for the start of pre-season in November.

Wiltshire enjoyed a remarkable season in 2018. Still eligible for the Under 20s, Wiltshire spent the majority of the season in the Intrust Super Cup for Mackay and was one of the shining lights for a battling Cutters side.

A hard-running centre, Wiltshire scored eight tries in 13 Cup games.

His Round 13 performance against Wynnum Manly produced a ridiculous stat line including a try, try assist, three line-breaks, five tackle-breaks and 233 running metres.

*This first appeared on the NQ Cowboys site