Marsters' NRL scenery change at Cowboys

Esan Marsters (L) feels his best NRL is ahead after joining North Queensland from the Wests Tigers.
Esan Marsters (L) feels his best NRL is ahead after joining North Queensland from the Wests Tigers.

North Queensland recruit Esan Marsters believes he can produce his best football in Townsville after being inconsistent last NRL season with the Wests Tigers.

Marsters has begun life at the Cowboys after his surprise release last month from the final year of his contract at Concord.

The New Zealand international reportedly sought a contract upgrade at the Tigers but was turned down and given a three-year deal by North Queensland.

In his first interview since joining the club, Marsters conceded he had underperformed in 2019 under Tigers coach Michael Maguire.

"I think for myself, looking back on the season that I had, a bit inconsistent with some performances that I've had," Marsters told reporters on Tuesday.

"But I think being at the Tigers for a very long time, I wanted to change the scenery I was in and just challenged myself off the field as much as on the field.

"It came up unexpectedly for me. I spoke to my manager and I spoke to my wife as well, just to clear up things, and to see what was better for me.

"I feel like I can play my best footy up here, coming to a new environment, working for my spot and just looking forward to new challenges."

Marsters, 23, will be a welcome addition to a Cowboys side who have released Javid Bowen, Jordan Kahu, Nene Macdonald and Enari Tuala over the past year.

Veterans Justin O'Neill and Tom Opacic will be his competition for centre spots, however Masters has yet to begin field training after knee surgery.

It is the first major operation of his career since debuting in 2017.

"I've been in rehab for a couple of weeks and those boys have been training hard ... so they'll be training for a spot," Marsters said.

"I have to come out and prove myself and just hopefully get a spot in round one.

"It's been six weeks now since I had the operation and it's looking pretty well. I'm just itching to get back on the field with the boys and connect with a lot of them."

Australian Associated Press