James Tamou

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James Tamou
James Tamou.jpg
Tamou playing for the New Zealand Māori in 2008
Personal information
Nickname Aussie Jim, Jimmy
Born (1988-12-13) 13 December 1988 (age 26)
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Height 194 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 113 kg (17 st 11 lb)
Playing information
Position Prop
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2009– North Qld. Cowboys 122 8 0 0 32
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2008–10 New Zealand Māori 2 0 0 0 0
2012–15 Australia 11 2 0 0 8
2012–14 New South Wales 8 0 0 0 0
Source: RLP, Nth Qld Cowboys

James Tamou (Tah-mow) (born 13 December 1988 in Palmerston North, New Zealand[1]) is a New Zealand-born Australian professional rugby league prop forward who plays for the North Queensland Cowboys of the National Rugby League. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative, he has played his entire club career to date with the Cowboys and is contracted to the club until the end of the 2016 season.

Early life[edit]

Born in Palmerston North, Tamou is of Māori descent.[2] He began playing junior rugby league in Levin for the Levin Knights in New Zealand. At the age of 13, Tamou moved with his family to Australia. He then played as a Sydney Roosters junior for the Paddington Tigers and attended Matraville High School in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. He was the Roosters Jersey Flegg Cup Player of the Year in 2007[3][4] In 2007, Tamou was selected to play for the Junior Kiwis.

Playing career[edit]


Tamou played for the Sydney Roosters' Toyota Cup team in 2008 and was one of the club's best performers, before signing for the North Queensland Cowboys for the 2009 season.[5] In 2008, he represented New Zealand Maori, when they played Indigenous Dreamtime team in the 2008 World Cup curtain raiser. He represented them for a second time in 2010, when they faced England before the start of the 2010 Four Nations tournament.[6]

Tamou made his first grade debut in round 9 of the 2009 NRL season. He went on to play 13 games in his first season in Townsville. In 2010, he was named the Cowboys' most improved player of the year, playing 19 games, starting in three of them. His good form was rewarded that year, when re-signed with the Cowboys for a further 3 years.[7]


Early in the 2011 season, Tamou and team mate Blake Leary were suspended by the Cowboys for one game for "breaking team alcohol rules".[8] He later played a major part in the Cowboys surge to the finals, playing 23 games in which he averaged 108 metres.[9] In 2011, he was selected in New Zealand's train-on squad for the Four Nations, although he was not selected in the final squad for the tournament.

In 2012, despite just weeks earlier expressing his desire to represent New Zealand, Tamou pledged his allegiance to Australia and New South Wales. Tamou had received phone calls from then New South Wales coach Ricky Stuart and captain Paul Gallen about making the switch. In 2012, Tamou has had a breakout year, averaging more metres per game than any other prop in the NRL. In April 2012, Tamou made his Australian debut in the Anzac Test in New Zealand. In May, Tamou was named for New South Wales and played all three games during the series.[10][11]

Tamou was selected for Australia in the 2013 ANZAC Test and played at prop forward. In what was the first test match ever played in Canberra, New Zealand were defeated. In June Tamou got selected for the New South Wales Blues and played in the New South Wales Blues on the 5th of June in the win of Queensland 14-6 less than a week later Tamou got suspended for game 2 for Drink driving and driving unlicensed in Townsville on the 11th of June.

Personal life[edit]

Tamou is the cousin of Parramatta Eels player Kenny Edwards.[12]


  1. ^ "Player profile: James Tamou". www.cowboys.com.au. North Queensland Cowboys. Archived from the original on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Tamou, a New Zealand native with Maori heritage". 16 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Walter, Brad (18 May 2012). "Kiwi threats bounce off Tamou but memories of Big Artie elicit a tear". Sydney morning Herald. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/nrl/how-james-tamou-lost-out-on-a-first-grade-spot-to-the-sydney-roosters-mascot/story-e6frep5x-1226473741447#
  5. ^ Stewart, Antony (22 July 2008). "NQ add muscle to squad". Townsville Bulletin. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "League: Maori draw with England". The New Zealand Herald. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Greenwood, Emma (10 February 2011). "Cowboy Tamou aims high". The Cairns Post. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "North Queensland Cowboys suspend James Tamou and Blake Leary for breaking team alcohol rules". Fox Sports (Australia). 12 April 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "James Tamou: NRL 2011". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Tamou grateful for Kiwis call-up". ABC News (Australia). 14 September 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "Tamou turns back on New Zealand". 12 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Edwards making up for lost time in NRL