THE Cowboys are still working on ways to retain classy fullback Lachlan Coote, but winger Antonio Winterstein will stay in Townsville until at least the end of 2018.
The retention of Winterstein, who left the Broncos to join North Queensland in 2011, is a timely boost for the club ahead of tonight's home game against a dangerous Parramatta.
The 27-year-old Kiwi-born winger has scored 56 tries in 111 games for the Cowboys after Brisbane released him three games short of his half-century.
"Tones has proven himself at this level time and again. He's a consistent performer, a great finisher and shows strong leadership on and off the field," Cowboys coach Paul Green said.
"To play over 150 games at this level is no mean feat - we're thrilled to have him continue his time at the club."
Winterstein said remaining in North Queensland was perfect for him and his young family. He and wife Brooke have three daughters - Milanah, 6, Harlan, 3, and Novah, 5 months.
"It really feels like home up here now," Winterstein said.
"We arrived in North Queensland five years ago, we absolutely love the club and the lifestyle, so I'm pleased to be able to continue to play for the Cowboys.
"I'm enjoying my footy. We had great success last year and I'm extremely positive about what lies ahead."
What lies ahead of Winterstein tonight is an Eels side hell-bent on knocking over the defending premiers, as they did in round two.
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur admitted having the threat of losing premiership points hanging over the club's head was not ideal, but was adamant it would not affect his players' performances on the field.
"It's not a great situation - we've just got to deal with it," he said.