Elliott Whitehead has reversed the trend of Englishman and bad contract news for Canberra, signing a two-year extension to keep him at the club until the end of 2024.
Already contracted until the end of next season, the 31-year-old will now take his stay at the club to nine seasons as part of what is likely his last NRL contract.
One of the first Brits to come from the Super League to the Raiders at the end of 2015, Whitehead has helped drive a recruitment run from the northern hemisphere.
But that has hit a snag in the past 12 months, with both John Bateman and George Williams released from their contracts early to return home.
Hooker Josh Hodgson’s future is also in doubt, with whispers this season he could head elsewhere at the end of 2021.
Ryan Sutton is the other Englishman to have formed part of the Raiders charge in recent seasons – he is contracted until the end of next year.
But there is no doubt over Whitehead’s future, who has taken over the co-captaincy from Hodgson this year.
“I’ve loved every minute of playing for the Raiders and living in Canberra, so it was an easy decision for me and my partner to stay with the club,” Whitehead said.
“I’ve also had the opportunity to be named as captain this year which is a huge honour.
“It’s great to have the deal done, but my focus is on helping to get the team into the finals for the third year in a row.
“We’ve got a great group of players here and we know we can continue our recent form and be there at the end of the year.”
The news comes as a massive boost to the Raiders before Saturday’s clash with Newcastle, in what is effectively a four-point game for both teams and their finals hopes.