Off-contract Cowboy ponders Titans switch

Pamela Whaley

Off-contract North Queensland forward John Asiata has vowed to continue putting his best foot forward for the Cowboys as he considers his NRL future beyond 2020 and the possibility of a move to the Gold Coast.

The 26-year-old, who has played representative football for Samoa and Tonga, has just one season left to run on his deal with the Cowboys and is a target for new Titans coach Justin Holbrook.

During a trip to Brisbane for a wedding in November, Asiata made the journey down the M1 with his manager to meet with Holbrook, but said he is still unsure of where his future lies.

"Right now my focus is (with the Cowboys), I can't really do anything outside of football. My job is to perform on the field and hopefully that can do the talking with where I want to be," he said.

"Gold Coast presented something that they thought would be good for me but it's all about me preparing for 2020 and putting my best foot forward for the Cowboys.

"They've done a lot for me over my career, and I'm just trying to let the football do the talking. If I can perform and do my best for the team the rest will take care of itself."

Asiata arrived at the Cowboys in 2014 when coach Paul Green took over the top job.

Green had coached the player at the Roosters in the lower grades and handed him his first-grade debut with North Queensland later that season.

Since then Asiata has developed a cult following for his versatility - playing prop, five-eighth and halfback at various stages in his career.

As the Cowboys struggled through an injury crisis in 2019 he filled in all over the paddock.

Having previously featured twice for Samoa, he made his debut for Tonga in their mid-season Test against New Zealand.

"I looked at 2019 as a really big stepping stone and 2020 is about trying to put myself in uncomfortable positions, trying to challenge myself and take my game and myself in general to a whole new level," he said.

"I'm not just here to play NRL games, I'm here to try and help the club become a very well known club.

"The ultimate goal is to go to the grand final and hopefully get another premiership."