Tamou playing for the New Zealand Māori in 2008
|Nickname||Jimmy, Aussie Jim|
13 December 1988 |
Palmerston North, New Zealand
|Height||196 cm (6 ft 5 in)|
|Weight||114 kg (17 st 13 lb)|
|As of 27 September 2016
Source: RLP, Nth Qld Cowboys
James Tamou (born 13 December 1988) is a New Zealand-born Australian professional rugby league prop forward who plays for the Penrith Panthers of the National Rugby League (NRL). An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative, Tamou played eight seasons for the North Queensland Cowboys and was a member of their 2015 NRL premiership and 2016 World Club Challenge winning sides.
Born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Tamou is of Māori and English descent. 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 his junior rugby league for the Paddington Tigers and attended Matraville Sports High School in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. In 2007, he was the Sydney Roosters Jersey Flegg Cup Player of the Year in 2007 and was selected to play for the Junior Kiwis. Tamou played for the Roosters' NYC team in 2008 and was one of the club's best performers, before signing for the North Queensland Cowboys for the 2009 season. In 2008, he represented New Zealand Maori, when they played Indigenous Dreamtime team in the 2008 World Cup curtain raiser, playing off the interchange bench in the 34–26 loss at Sydney Football Stadium.
In Round 8, Tamou made his NRL debut against the Parramatta Eels where he played off the interchange bench and scored a try in the Cowboys 28–18 loss at Parramatta Stadium. He finished his debut year in the NRL with 12 matches and 2 tries.
In 2010, Tamou was named the Cowboys' most improved player of the year, after playing in 19 matches and scoring 1 try. His good form was rewarded that year, when he re-signed with the Cowboys for a further 3 years. On 16 October, Tamou once again represented New Zealand Māori when they faced England before the start of the 2010 Four Nations tournament.
On 12 April, Tamou and team mate Blake Leary were suspended by the Cowboys for one game for "breaking team alcohol rules". Tamou later played a major part in the Cowboys surge to the finals, finishing the season with him playing in 23 matches and scoring 2 tries. He averaged 108 metres per game. In September, Tamou was selected in New Zealand's train-on squad for the Four Nations, although he was not selected in the final squad.
In April, 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. On 20 April, Tamou made his Australian international in the Anzac Test, playing off the interchange bench in the 20–12 win at Eden Park. On 22 May, Tamou made his State of Origin debut for New South Wales, starting at prop in the Blues 18–10 loss at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne. Tamou played in all three games of the series.
The 2012 NRL season was a breakout year for Tamou, playing in 24 matches and scoring 2 tries as well as averaging more metres per game than any other prop in the NRL. On 13 October, Tamou played for Australia in the Trans-Tasman test, where he started at prop and scored a try in the 18–10 victory. On 10 December, Tamou re-signed with the Cowboys, keeping him at the club to the end of the 2016 season.
On 19 April, Tamou was selected for Australia in the Anzac Test, starting at prop in the 32–12 win at Canberra Stadium in what was the first test match ever played in Canberra. In Game 1 of the 2013 State of Origin series, Tamou was selected for New South Wales and started prop in 14–6 victory over Queensland at ANZ Stadium. Less than a week later, Tamou was fined $20,000 by the NRL and suspended for 2 NRL matches for drink driving and driving unlicensed in Townsville on 11 June. He was suspended for the second Origin match. Tamou returned in Game 3, where New South Wales lost 12–10, resulting in Queensland winning the series 2–1.
In the Cowboys elimination final match against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Tamou played his 100th NRL match in the unlucky 20–18 loss at Sydney Football Stadium. Tamou finished the year with 22 appearances for the Cowboys. In October, he played for Australia in the World Cup squad, playing in 6 matches and scoring 1 try in the tournament. Tamou started at prop in the Kangaroos 34–2 World Cup Final win against New Zealand at Old Trafford in Manchester.
In February, Tamou was a member of the Cowboys victorious Auckland Nines side and was named in the Team of the Tournament. On 2 May, Tamou played in the 2014 Anzac Test against New Zealand, playing off the interchange bench in the 30–18 win. For the 2014 State of Origin series, Tamou played in all 3 matches in the Blues 2–1 series win, resulting in New South Wales winning its first series win since the 2005. In Round 20 against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Tamou injured his neck, resulting with him being sidelined for a month. He returned in round 24. Tamou finished the season with him playing in 21 matches and scoring 1 try. He underwent neck surgery at the end of the season, ruling him out of Australia's Four Nations campaign.
Early into the season, rumours were floating around about Tamou was going to offloaded from the Cowboys to the Canberra Raiders after his bad performances in the Cowboys first 3 losses off the season, but later on Tamou returned to his best form when the Cowboys went on their 11 match winning streak. On 3 May, Tamou played in the Anzac Test, playing off the interchange bench in the 26–12 loss. In the 2015 State of Origin series, Tamou played in all 3 matches, starting at prop for the Blues in their 2–1 series loss. On 4 October, Tamou was a member of the Cowboys' 2015 NRL Grand Final winning side, starting at prop and scoring a try in the side's 17–16 victory over the Brisbane Broncos. Tamou finished his successful year with him playing in 24 matches and scoring 2 tries.
On 2 February, Tamou played for the Cowboys in the Auckland Nines. On 21 February 2016, Tamou was a member of the Cowboys' World Club Challenge winning side, starting at prop in the side's 38–4 victory over the Leeds Rhinos at Headingley Stadium. On 6 May 2016, Tamou played for Australia against New Zealand, playing off the interchange bench in the 16–0 win at Hunter Stadium. On 16 June, it was announced that Tamou had signed a four-year deal with the Penrith Panthers.
Achievements and accolades
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2016 season 
|†||Denotes seasons in which Tamou got a NRL Premiership.|
State of Origin
|†||Denotes seasons in which Tamou won a State of Origin Series|
|2012||New South Wales||3||0||0||—||0||0|
|2013||New South Wales||2||0||0||—||0||0|
|2014†||New South Wales||3||0||0||—||0||0|
|2015||New South Wales||3||0||0||—||0||0|
|2016||New South Wales||3||0||0||—||0||0|
- "James Tamou asks Cowboys whether early release is an option". Daily Telegraph.
- Peter Badel (16 April 2012). "Tamou, a New Zealand native with Maori heritage". The Australian.
- "Tug of War Over Pacific Talent". islandsbusiness.com. April 2013.
- 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.
- Josh Massoud. "How James Tamou lost out on a first grade spot to the Sydney Roosters mascot". Courier Mail.
- Antony Stewart (22 July 2008). "NQ add muscle to squad". Townsville Bulletin. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Steven Williams. "Aboriginal side too good for Maori". League Unlimited.
- "Jarryd Hayne inspires Parramatta to a 28–18 victory over the Cowboys". Perth Now. 1 May 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- Greenwood, Emma (10 February 2011). "Cowboy Tamou aims high". The Cairns Post. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "League: Maori draw with England". The New Zealand Herald. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "North Queensland Cowboys suspend James Tamou and Blake Leary for breaking team alcohol rules". Fox Sports (Australia). 12 April 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "James Tamou: NRL 2011". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "Tamou grateful for Kiwis call-up". ABC News.
- "Tamou turns back on New Zealand". nrl.com. 12 April 2012.
- Peter Badel & Andrew Webster. "New Zealand-born prop James Tamou defends decision to play rep football for Australia". Fox Sports. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Lowdown on test blockbuster". Daily Telegraph.
- "Tamou's biggest fear". Daily Telegraph.
- "Live coverage State of Origin game one". Daily Telegraph.
- "James Tamou keen to spoil Petero Civiniceva's Origin farewell". Daily Telegraph.
- Ian McCullough (13 October 2012). "Australia grind it out in second half to win 18–10 over New Zealand in Townsville Test match". Fox Sports. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "James Tamou ends speculation 2013 would be his last at North Queensland Cowboys, re-signs until 2016". Fox Sports. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Australia beats New Zealand 32–12 at Canberra Stadium". Daily Telegraph.
- "NSW Blues beat Queensland 14–6 in State of Origin I". Daily Telegraph.
- Nathan Ryan. "James Tamou's drink driving punishment harsh says Queensland skipper Cameron Smith". Fox Sports. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "NSW blow as James Tamou stood down from Origin II over drink driving arrest". Fox Sports. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "State of Origin match report: Maroons make it eight straight". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- Nicholas Janzen. "Sharks v Cowboys preview". NRL.com. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Kangaroos World Cup squad includes three grand finalists, three players set to make debut". ABC News. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Australia 34 New Zealand 2: Kangaroos crowned world champions". Mail Online. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- Ben Glover (18 February 2014). "Next generation NRL stars shine with Auckland Nines team of the tournament packed with youngsters". Fox Sports. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Home – Live Scores & Latest News – Fox Sports". Fox Sports. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "State of Origin: NSW Blues beat Queensland Maroons to end eight-year drought". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Home – Live Scores & Latest News – Fox Sports". Fox Sports. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "A Johnathan Thurston-inspired North Queensland claim a deserved 22–10 win over South Sydney". Daily Telegraph.
- Laine Clark. "James Tamou to undergo neck surgery". NRL.com.
- Peter Badel (25 March 2015). "Cowboys prop James Tamou is being shopped around to three rival clubs". Courier Mail.
- Chris Garry (3 May 2015). "New Zealand's comprehensive defeat of Australia could spell the end for coach Tim Sheens and several veterans". Courier Mail.
- Matt Harris. "Queensland clinch 2015 Origin series". NRL.com. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "NRL Grand Final 2015: North Queensland Cowboys outgun Brisbane Broncos to win premiership". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "NRL Grand Final Player Ratings". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "Cowboys name strong Nines squad – Rugby League Week". Rugby League Week. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- "Leeds 4–38 North Queensland". Mail Online. 21 February 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- Australia v New Zealand Trans-Tasman test live blog, scores, results , stats, video. News.com.au (7 May 2016). Retrieved on 11 June 2016.
- Shawn Dollin and Andrew Ferguson (12 February 2016). "James Tamou".
- "James Tamou's wife Brittney McGlone stopped the Cowboys prop from leaving the club". Courier Mail.
- Ben Horne. "Edwards making up for lost time in NRL". NRL.com.