James Tamou

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James Tamou
James Tamou.jpg
Tamou playing for the New Zealand Māori in 2008
Personal information
Nickname Jimmy,[1] Aussie Jim
Born (1988-12-13) 13 December 1988 (age 27)
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Height 196 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 114 kg (17 st 13 lb)
Playing information
Position prop
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2009– North Queensland 145 10 0 0 40
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
2012–15 New South Wales 11 0 0 0 0
As of 15 September 2015
Source: Rugby League Project, Nth Qld Cowboys

James Tamou (born 13 December 1988) 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 was a member of their 2015 NRL premiership winning side.


Born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Tamou is of Māori descent.[2][3] 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 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.[4][5] Tamou played for the Sydney 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.[6] 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.[7]

Playing career[edit]


In Round 8 of the 2009 NRL season, Tamou made his NRL debut for the North Queensland Cowboys against the Parramatta Eels where he played off the interchange bench and scored a try in the Cowboys 28-18 loss at Parramatta Stadium.[8] Tamou finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 12 matches and scoring 2 tries for the Cowboys in the 2009 NRL season.


In the 2010 NRL season, 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 re-signed with the Cowboys for a further 3 years.[9] On 16 October 2010, Tamou once again represented New Zealand Māori when they faced England before the start of the 2010 Four Nations tournament, starting at prop in the 18-18 all draw at Mt Smart Stadium.[10]


On 12 April 2011, Tamou and team mate Blake Leary were suspended by the Cowboys for one game for "breaking team alcohol rules".[11] Tamou later played a major part in the Cowboys surge to the finals, finishing the 2011 NRL season with him playing in 23 matches and scoring 2 tries in which he averaged 108 metres in a game.[12] In September 2011, Tamou 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.[13][14]


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.[15] 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.[16][15]


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 New South Wales and played in their Game 1 victory over Queensland. Less than a week later, Tamou was suspended for Game 2 of the series for drink driving and driving unlicensed in Townsville on the 11th of June.

In November, Tamou was a member of Australia'a 2013 Rugby League World Cup winning side.


In February, Tamou was a member of the Cowboys victorious Auckland Nines side and was named in the Team of the Tournament. Later that season, he was a member of New South Wales' State of Origin series victory.

Tamou injured his neck in a match against the Bulldogs and was out for a month. He underwent neck surgery at the end of the 2014 season, ruling him out of Australia's Four Nations campaign.[17]


On 4 October 2015, Tamou was a member of the Cowboys' Grand Final winning side, starting at prop and scoring a try in the side's 17-16 victory over the Brisbane Broncos.

Achievements and accolades[edit]


2015 NRL Grand Final: North Queensland Cowboys – Winners



Statistics are correct to the end of the 2015 season [18]
Denotes seasons in which Tamou got a Yellow Card.
Season Team Matches T G GK % F/G Pts
2009 North Queensland 12 2 0 0 8
2010 North Queensland 19 1 0 0 4
2011 North Queensland 23 2 0 0 8
2012 North Queensland 24 2 0 0 8
2013 North Queensland 22 0 0 0 0
2014 North Queensland 21 1 0 0 4
2015 North Queensland 24 2 0 0 8
Career totals 144 10 0 0 40

State of Origin[edit]

Denotes seasons in which Tamou won a State of Origin Series
Season Team Matches T G GK % F/G Pts
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
Career totals 11 0 0 0 0


Season Team Matches T G GK % F/G Pts
2012 Australia 2 1 0 0 4
2013 Australia 7 1 0 0 4
2014 Australia 1 0 0 0 0
2015 Australia 1 0 0 0 0
Career totals 11 2 0 0 8

Personal life[edit]

Tamou and his partner Brittney McGlone have two children, sons Brooklyn and Barclay.[19]

Tamou is the cousin of Parramatta Eels player Kenny Edwards.[20]


  1. ^ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/nrl-2015-james-tamou-asks-cowboys-whether-early-release-is-an-option/story-fni3g8pa-1227303130348
  2. ^ Peter Badel (16 April 2012). "Tamou, a New Zealand native with Maori heritage". The Australian. 
  3. ^ "Tug of War Over Pacific Talent". 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Josh Massoud. "How James Tamou lost out on a first grade spot to the Sydney Roosters mascot". Courier Mail. 
  6. ^ Stewart, Antony (22 July 2008). "NQ add muscle to squad". Townsville Bulletin. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Steven Williams. "Aboriginal side too good for Maori". League Unlimited. 
  8. ^ http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/hayne-sparks-electric-eels-to-life/story-e6frg12c-1225706153927
  9. ^ Greenwood, Emma (10 February 2011). "Cowboy Tamou aims high". The Cairns Post. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "League: Maori draw with England". The New Zealand Herald. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "North Queensland Cowboys suspend James Tamou and Blake Leary for breaking team alcohol rules". Fox Sports (Australia). 12 April 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "James Tamou: NRL 2011". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Tamou grateful for Kiwis call-up". ABC News. 
  14. ^ "Two More Players Added To Kiwis' Train-On Squad". 
  15. ^ a b "Tamou turns back on New Zealand". 12 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Tamou grateful for Kiwis call-up". ABC News (Australia). 14 September 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "James Tamou to undergo neck surgery". NRL.com. 
  18. ^ Shawn Dollin and Andrew Ferguson (12 February 2016). "James Tamou". 
  19. ^ http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/james-tamous-wife-brittney-mcglone-stopped-the-cowboys-prop-from-leaving-the-club/story-fnihsrk2-1227554796242
  20. ^ "Edwards making up for lost time in NRL". NRL.com. 

External links[edit]