Statement on Alex Elisala

North Queensland Cowboys NRL squad member Alex Elisala sadly passed away in Mackay this evening at the age of 20.

Alex became a full-time member of the Cowboys’ NRL squad in 2013 and recently represented Samoa for the first time in the Pacific Test against Tonga.

He played 69 games in the Toyota Cup under-20s competition – the second most by any Cowboy - was a member of the club’s 2011 NYC grand final team and represented Queensland in the inaugural under-20s State of Origin match in 2012.

“This is an extremely sad time for our club, particularly for our players who trained and played alongside Alex in both our NYC and NRL teams,” Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain said.

“Alex joined our club four years ago, had a distinguished career in our NYC squad and was already excelling in his first year as a full-time member of the NRL squad.

“He was undoubtedly one of the brightest young talents at the Cowboys.

“Alex was extremely well liked by everyone at the club and his jovial but dedicated presence in and away from football will be deeply missed by all.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Alex’s family and his friends.

“Our players and staff have met this morning to support each other and with the help of the NRL, we have begun to provide professional counselling as they try to come to terms with Alex’s passing.

“We request everyone to respect the sensitive nature of this situation and the privacy of all concerned.”