Cairns was represented in the QRLState Competition (called the Channel Nine Cup 1996-7; Queensland Cup 1998-9; Bundy Gold Cup 2000) from 1996-2000 by the Cairns Cyclones, but a lack of support resulted in their withdrawal. Further representation in the competition was suggested in 2006 by a Cairns-based consortium of John O’Brien, Denis Keeffe, Nigel Tillet and John Moore, this time with the support of the North Queensland Cowboys and 9 of the 11 CDRL Clubs. The team name and logo were unveiled in July 2007 at a "Legends of Origin" lunch held at The Reef Hotel Casino.
The Club is a development club built around the phrase 'Born and Bred.' It was formed to create a regionally based talent development pathway for players, coaches and administrators. Prior to the creation of the Club, talented Far North Queensland rugby league players were invariably forced to move away from the region to go to schools and/or join southern based state league and national league clubs. The Northern Pride competes in the Open Men's Competition (currently called the Intrust Super Cup due to sponsorship obligations), as well as the Under-16 competition (Cyril Connell Cup) and the Under-18 competition (Mal Meninga Cup).
Foundation captain was former North Queensland Cowboys and St. George Illawarra Dragons player Chris Sheppard. Sheppard was the first player signed to the team (July 2007) and was captain and operations manager for the first three seasons. He retired after leading the Pride to Premiership victory at the 2010 Grand Final. Former North Queensland Cowboys player Ty Williams was captain for the next three seasons (2011-2013), before retiring to captain-coach the CDRL Innisfail Leprechauns. In 2014 Demetriou named joint co-captains Brett Anderson and Jason Roos (2014-2015). The side has also been captained by Warren Jensen, Chey Bird, Ben Laity, Ryan Stig, Mark Cantoni, Sheldon Powe-Hobbs and Jordan Biondi-Odo when the regular captain(s) were unavailable due to injury and/or representative commitments.
The foundation Chief Executive Officer was Dennis Keeffe. He was replaced in 2010 by QRL Northern Division chairman John Moore. From 2011 to 2013 former team captain Chris Sheppard was CEO. He was replaced in May 2013 by Northern Pride business development manager, Brock Schaefer. Schaefer resigned at the end of the 2014 season to take up a role at South Sydney Rabbitohs and was replaced in January 2015 by former Pride player Rod Jensen.
The Pride's home ground is Barlow Park in Cairns. The playing field is 114 metres long (100 metres of field plus two 7 metre in-goal areas) by 68 metres wide. The facility is floodlit for night games with four towers providing 620 lux. The venue has a capacity of 15,000 which includes 1,700 seats (mostly undercover). The car park can accommodate approximately 300 vehicles. The Pride have played 8 pre-season trial matches and 79 home games at Barlow Park (2008-2014, 7 seasons; won 64; drawn 2; lost 13;), two home games at Pride Oval, Irene Street Mooroobool (2010 season, won 2; drawn 0; lost 0) and one home game at Davies Park, Mareeba (2014 season, won 0; drawn 0; lost 1). Five matches at Barlow Park have been televised. The Pride have also played pre-season trial matches in the Cairns area at Pride Oval, Mooroobool; Jones Park, Westcourt; Stan Williams Park, Manunda; Callendar Park, Innisfail; Jilara Oval, Yarrabah; Mossman Showgrounds; NQ Hardware Stadium, Atherton; Tully Showgrounds, Tully and Davies Park, Mareeba.
In 2012-2013 the Pride played 13 consecutive home games at Barlow Park without loss. In 2014 Barlow Park was renamed 'The Jungle' and the Pride won all 12 matches they played there.
The team has trained at a number of venues, including Barlow Park, West Barlow Park, Pride Oval and CDRL's Jones Park at Mann Street, Westcourt.
The Pride's Leagues Club is the former CDRL Kangaroos Club at Pride Oval, Irene Street, Mooroobool.
The Skill360 Northern Pride finished fourth and made the Grand Final, having won 11 matches in a row leading into the Grand Final. They won the Grand Final, beating Norths Devils 30-20 at Suncorp Stadium. Captain Chris Sheppard won the Duncan Hall Medal for his man-of-the-match performance in the Grand Final, which was his last game before retirement.
Between Round 14 of the 2010 season and Round 5 of the 2011 season, the Skill360 Northern Pride won 17 consecutive games, a Queensland Cup record. After a draw in Round 6 and a win in Round 7, the Pride were unbeaten after 19 matches. The Pride finished the 2011 season in second place, but were eliminated after losing the semi-final 26-20 to Tweed Heads Seagulls at Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe.
In 2012, the club finished seventh to miss out on a finals appearance for the first time in their short history. At the end of the season, Head Coach David Maiden resigned, while fullback Chey Bird, who scored 572 points in 94 appearances for the Pride, retired along with former North Queensland Cowboys star Rod Jensen, who scored 36 tries in 69 games for the club, second on the Pride's all-time try scorer list.
Former Super League player Jason Demetriou replaced David Maiden as coach, and Brock Schaefer replaced Chris Sheppard as CEO. The Pride finished first and won their first Minor Premiership. Head Coach Jason Demetriou was awarded the Men of League Coach of the Year. The Pride lost both Finals games (the Major Semi-Final and the Preliminary Final) and missed out on a Grand Final appearance. At the end of the season Captain Ty Williams retired.
Jason Roos (co-captain) (Hooker) Alex Starmer (Prop) Graham Clark Vaipuna Tia Kilifi Tom Hancock (Second Row) P J Webb Brent Oosen Jack Svendsen (Second Row) Travis Peeters (Prop) Nathan Wales (Prop / Lock) Sheldon Powe-Hobbs (Lock/Second Row) Denzel King Maddie Oosen Keelan White Dave Murphy Jared Verney
The main centrepiece of the design the Torres Strait Headress (Dhari) traditionally known as a Dhibal, is from Saibai Island, which makes up the majority of the TSI population in the NPA which migrated to the NPA throughout the 1940s. The Dhari as a significant importance in TSI culture, the initiation of young men into warriors, celebrated through dance and ceremonies.
The boomerang represents the Aboriginal peoples of the NPA, used in hunting and gathering and significant ceremonies.
2012: Pink socks and pink bootlaces for the Breast Cancer Foundation and Women in League Round, Round 15 played on Saturday 23 June 2012 at Barlow Park against Tweed Heads Seagulls.
From Round 1 2012 the Pride began live streaming their home games free to members via their website ($5 for non-members). From Round 5 2012 away games were streamed through the website as well (Free to members, $5 to non-members). In 2013, all matches (including pre-season trials but excluding matches broadcast live by Channel Nine) were streamed live through the Pride website, with access granted exclusively to Pride members. Video production was by Studio Productions and the commentary team was Adam Jackson and Northern Pride Under-18s coach, Cameron 'Spiller' Miller.