Ben Spina – the son of inaugural Cowboys captain Laurie – has signed a one-year NRL deal with North Queensland, capping a memorable season.
The son of North Queensland’s inaugural captain Laurie Spina has been signed by the Cowboys, capping a memorable season.
Ben Spina, 26, overcame a month-long severe hand injury from a work accident with a grinder to shine for Cairns-based Queensland Cup side Northern Pride, catching the eye of several NRL clubs.
He featured in Northern Pride’s Queensland Cup title-winning side before backing up in their upset NRL state championship final triumph over Penrith on Sunday.
Spina – a barnstorming prop unlike his father who was a scheming halfback – was rewarded with a one-year Cowboys deal.
Spina has already made his NRL debut for the Cowboys – in round 17 this year – but will join the full-time training squad for the first time thanks to the new deal.
“After tasting success with the Pride and debuting in the NRL this year, my drive to become a regular NRL player has only increased,” Spina said.
Spina joins the likes of fellow new faces Ben Hannant and Jake Granville (ex-Broncos) and Kelepi Tanginoa (Parramatta) in next season’s squad.
“He is someone we’ve had our eyes on for some time and we’ve witnessed the hard work he’s put into his footy,” Cowboys football boss Peter Parr said of Spina.