Penrith have re-signed halfback Nathan Cleary for another five seasons, after he re-committed to the club until at least the end of the 2024 campaign.
The 20-year-old is now set to play the next six years at the foot of the mountains, after already being contracted for the 2019 season.
“I’m excited to re-sign with the Panthers and commit the next six years of my career to the club,” Cleary told penrithpanthers.com.au.
“There was always going to be speculation but in the end it was an easy decision for me to make.
“This club and this community mean a lot to me. Panthers gave me the opportunity to debut as an 18-year-old and I will always hold that close to my heart.
“I’ve grown up with this team and I couldn’t ask for a better group of players and coaches to work with moving forward.
“I want to become a leader here at the Panthers and I’m determined to help deliver a premiership to Penrith.”
The young star made his Origin debut this season, and along with Penrith teammate James Maloney, led the Blues to their first series win since 2014.
Cleary has played just 58 NRL games since making his debut in Round 13, 2016, and Penrith’s Executive General Manager Phil Gould expressed his delight at Cleary’s re-signing.
“Today is a very special day in our club’s history,” Panthers Executive General Manager Phil Gould AM said.
“Everyone at Panthers is delighted to know Nathan Cleary has committed to this club until at least the end of the 2024 season.
“This is a significant contract for Nathan but it’s also a major investment by Panthers in its own future as an NRL club, and it’s an important signing for the future of rugby league in Western Sydney.
“Nathan is an outstanding young man and I have no doubt he will be a future captain of this club.
“His best football is still well in front of him and we believe he will be the face of rugby league in this region for many years to come.
“To sign a deal of this significance with a player we have seen develop through our own pathways system, from a young age, is a special moment indeed.”