Tate joining Cowboys on three-year deal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tate joining Cowboys on three-year deal

23/06/2010 05:15:06 PM Comments (0)

Former Test and Origin centre Brent Tate says family - rather than financial - reasons were behind his tough decision to leave the Warriors and see out his NRL career with a three-year deal at North Queensland.

The 28-year-old Queenslander said he'd knocked back a "big" two-season deal with the New Zealand club in order to leave next year for Townsville, where he would start preparing for life after footy.

"Whilst I'm still relatively young, in football terms I'm nearing the end," said Tate, a veteran of 19 Tests and 15 Origins.

"It's very important now that I start to focus on my life after football and those opportunities are undoubtedly a lot greater in Townsville.

"The big thing for me is that it's back in Queensland, which is our home.

"I thought it was real important now to start the focus on life after football ...I couldn't ignore that fact, especially with my history of injuries."

Over his nine-year career, Tate has endured two season-ending knee reconstructions and must play games with a special neck brace.

He is currently sidelined with a broken jaw.

"I've experienced the highs and I've experienced the lows and I know better than anyone that it could end at any stage," Tate said.

Tate made his NRL debut for Brisbane in 2001 and moved to New Zealand in 2008.

While Tate first made his name during a stellar stint at the Broncos, he described his decision to leave the Warriors as the hardest of his career.

"There's times when I've thought there's no way I can leave this place and there's times when I think the right thing to do is to go," he said.

"At the end of the day the decision I've made ticked the boxes that I thought I needed to tick."

The Warriors will now lose Tate and his brother-in-law - retiring prop Steve Price - next season, providing serious food for thought for coach Ivan Cleary ahead of 2011.

"(With) the two big losses of ... a front-row and a centre ... (we) have to have a look at what's more important and where the money's spent," Cleary said.

"Obviously we're going to have to get someone, but whether they're top-end or middle of the road in different sorts of positions - that's something I've got to work out, probably based on who's out there."

The Warriors (10th; 6-7 record) take on the Sydney Roosters (6th; 7-6) at Christchurch on Sunday.

Tate's signing provided a rare highlight for the Cowboys who are trying to salvage something from their 2010 season after slumping to a disastrous 4-10 win-loss record.

"To have a player of his standing in the game come to our club is great for our future," said Cowboys coach Neil Henry, who had worked with Tate as a Queensland assistant coach.

"He will be great for our leadership and a role model for our younger players.

"I've had the pleasure of working with Brent on a number of State of Origin campaigns and have always had a very good working relationship with him."

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