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Devils increase reputation as pathway to top

Norths are celebrating another popular player elevated to a fulltime NRL contract as the reigning premiers grow their reputation as the pathway to the top.

Brendan Frei’s promotion to the North Queensland Cowboys’ contracted list makes it six players who have gone from Devils contracts to fulltime deals in the last six months.

During that time, premiership coach Rohan Smith was recruited by Leeds Rhinos as head coach.

The list of players includes:

  • Brendan Frei (North Queensland Cowboys)
  • Danny Levi (Huddersfield Giants)
  • Nene Macdonald (Leigh Centurions)
  • Michael Molo (St George Illawarra Dragons)
  • Ben Nakubuwai (Leigh Centurions)
  • Jon Reuben (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Despite the departures, the Devils have a 6-2 win-loss record this season heading into tomorrow’s Hostplus Cup home clash with second-placed Sunshine Coast Falcons at Bishop Park.

The Devils are tomorrow set to field eight players from the 17 men who played in last year’s grand final, showcasing the depth that has delivered 25 wins from Norths’ last 29 matches.

“We’re proud of these players because they have come to Norths, worked extremely hard, and been rewarded for their dedication and talent,” Devils CEO Troy Rovelli said.

“And they have done it as real team players. This club prides itself on a team-first mentality and they have all shown that you can succeed without having to elevate your personal interests above others.

“We have a number of players in our current squad who we know belong in fulltime footy squads and we know their opportunities will come soon.

“They approach their footy with the same team mentality under our new co-coaches Ben King and Kevin Neighbour so they’re on the right track.

“We are delighted for the progress of these players and for Rohan Smith because we are a club that wants to get our people to the next level while also showing that we can be very competitive in the Hostplus Cup.”

Frei was the latest Devil to receive an offer, heading for Townsville after a valued stint at Bishop Park.

“I loved my time at Norths and the chance to play with so many good players and with a coaching staff that really improved players,” Frei said.

“I will always have fond memories of my time as a Devil and I look forward to staying in touch with the many good friends I developed in that time.”

The Devils celebrated when Molo marked his NRL premiership debut with a try recently after impressing in the Dragons system alongside Devils grand final teammate Reuben.

Levi has taken his dangerous dummy-half running to Huddersfield. He will meet Smith’s Rhinos next weekend.

Macdonald and Nakubuwai were premiership teammates and linked again at Leigh Centurions last weekend for victory in a mid-season competition final.

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