Cowboys coach Paul Green Photo: www.nrl.com
North Queensland have added much-needed forward depth by signing Melbourne prop Jordan McLean on a three-year NRL deal.
With co-captain Matt Scott's future up in the air, the Cowboys have snapped up the highly rated 25-year-old from 2018.
Off-contract Scott has been linked to a lucrative Newcastle deal from next year.
He is also mulling over a Cowboys offer while recovering from a season-ending knee injury.
McLean's signature will provide some insurance for the Cowboys which are reeling from the loss of Test prop James Tamou's defection to Penrith and Ben Hannant's retirement this year.
Jordan McLean of the Storm Photo: Getty Images
The 196cm, 115kg McLean - in his fifth NRL season with Melbourne - has signed until at the least the end of 2020.
"Jordan's a wonderful young player who's come through a very good developmental pathways system at Melbourne, so we know that we'll be getting both a quality player and a quality person," Cowboys football manager Peter Parr said.
"We have always said we would look to add to our roster in that front row position and we're thrilled Jordan has agreed to terms from 2018 onwards."
McLean has played 69 games since his 2013 debut, including 21 last season.
He said it was a difficult decision after Melbourne stood by him through some tough times.
McLean was suspended for seven weeks for a 2014 dangerous throw that left Newcastle's Alex McKinnon with spinal damage.
"The Storm has been tremendous for me in terms of my development as a player and as a person," McLean said.
"They've stood by me and (coach) Craig Bellamy and his staff have helped me improve my game.
"Craig handed me my NRL debut and that's something I'll treasure always."
McLean was impressive in Melbourne's 14-12 last round win over Brisbane, amassing 117m.
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