The North Queensland Cowboys are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Townsville, Queensland.. They compete in Australasia's elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership. Over the sixteen seasons since their admission to the League in 1995, the club has appeared in 1 grand final, reached the play-offs 5 times, received 3 wooden spoons and had a total of 4 of its players (3 Queensland Maroons and 1 New South Wales Blues) selected to wear the green and gold for Australia. The team's management headquarters and home ground Dairy Farmers Stadium and are located in the Townsville suburb of Kirwan.
The Cowboys were admitted to the premiership for the 1995 ARL season. They played in the breakaway Super League competition of 1997 before continuing to compete in the re-unified National Rugby League competition the following year. After running into financial trouble in 2001 the club was taken over by News Limited. The Cowboys had to wait ten years to finish a season in the top half of the ladder. The following season they reached the Grand Final for the first time. In 2007 the team was sold by News to the Cowboys League Club. In 2011 they were the most watched NRL club on pay television, and their Round Four clash with the Parramatta Eels was the fourth most watched sports event in Fox Sport's History.
The club is characterised by its remote, northern location, its working class heritage (mining and cane farming), the doggedness of administrators and on field players who share a steely resolve to survive and succeed, despite the odds. The club's mascot is a blue Australian Cattledog named Bluey, dating back from the club's foundation in 1995.
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