NRL 2020: Cowboys poached Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow from Queensland Reds, Perth Nines, rugby league vs union
The Cowboys have produced potentially one of the best cross-code poaching raids in recent times after securing the services of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow from the Queensland Reds for just $2000.
The Courier Mail revealed the cut price deal that landed North Queensland arguably the most exciting prospect from the NRL Nines.
The man they call the “Hammer” is still just 18 years old, but he looks set for a long and lucrative career in rugby league after lighting up the Perth Nines.
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However the potential superstar could have been training with the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby this week, if it wasn’t for Cowboys recruitment manager Clint Zammit.
Two years ago, the young fullback was a boarder at Brisbane Grammar school and on a scholarship with the Reds.
Zammit, who also found Kalyn Ponga playing GPS rugby, was present at a schoolboy game where Tabuai-Fidow dominated against Ipswich Grammar.
The Cowboys moved quickly to secure Tabuai-Fidow’s signature and bring him home to Cairns and the rest is history.
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“I didn’t really get picked up by league when I was younger, so I tried union out,” Tabuai-Fidow said after the Cowboys’ 23-14 Nines Final win over the Dragons.
“I got pretty far in union. I would have been pretty happy even if I got a professional contract in rugby.
“I was with the Reds for a little bit, just in their development squad, but then the Cowboys were pretty keen on me.
“I had moved down from Cairns to go to boarding school at Brisbane Grammar. It was pretty hard to move away from my family. I was at a rugby union school and then one of the guys from the Cowboys (Zammit) talked to me after a game.
“He said the Cowboys wanted to sign me, so I was pretty happy that I had the chance to move back closer to home.”
Zammit like most recruitment chiefs spends hours looking at potential recruits, but admitted one look was all he needed to go after Tabuai-Fidow.
“I went down to watch another kid Tom Gilbert, but he was injured and then I saw Hamiso,” Zammit said.
“I don’t know how keen the Reds were but I spoke to Hamiso’s parents and the deal was done in five days.
“I also signed Gideon Gela-Mosby (former Cowboys speed machine) and Hamiso is quicker than him.
“The balance he showed to kick ahead and score those tries at the Nines was just freakish.”
Originally published as How Cowboys poached rugby wonderkid from Reds for $2000