Todd Payten has been confirmed as the North Queensland Cowboys' new head coach.
Payten has penned a three-year deal beginning in 2021, returning to the club he was an assistant at for four years, which included their 2015 NRL Premiership-winning season.
The news initially broke last week with The Daily Telegraph reporting Payten to be the successor to the club's former coach Paul Green.
The 41-year-old will see out his time at the Warriors as their interim head coach in 2020. His time as their temporary mentor has seen his stock rise mightily, garnering a 5-5 record which has propped them firmly in the hunt for a finals spot with four games remaining.
Cowboys chairman Lewis Ramsay said the appointment of Payten followed a thorough search for their next coach.
"We are delighted to bring Todd back to North Queensland and believe he is the right choice to lead our club into an exciting new chapter," he said.
"His strong leadership abilities, the importance he places on culture and communication and the confidence he has in continuing to develop our playing group were all major factors in choosing Todd as our next head coach."
Warriors CEO Cameron George acknowledged Payten's appointment in North Queensland, and cited his focus on the rest of 2020.
"He is doing a terrific job with our team and we're proud of what he, the players and the staff have been achieving. I know Todd is as committed and focused as ever to fulfilling his role with us," George said.
"As a club we're pleased for him that he has secured his future and that's he's able to take his family back to Australia but all that matters for him right now is ensuring the Warriors are well prepared to face the Eels this weekend."
Payten turned down the Warriors head coaching role last month, which led to the club appointing Nathan Brown as the full-time successor to Stephen Kearney. Payten was initially contracted as an assistant in 2021.
He takes over a Cowboys side who, while missing the playoffs the last two years and are set to again in 2020, made two grand finals in three years between 2015 and 2017. They still boast a large chunk of the roster that carried them to the big dance, and who worked under Payten when he was an assistant.