The St George Illawarra Dragons have announced that they’ve extended the contract of fringe back-rower Billy Burns, on a one-year deal through to the end of 2023.

Burns joined the Red V from Penrith before the 2021 season as part of a swap deal with giant young prop Eddie Blacker, but has played just 19 games for the club after an injury-affected year saw him make just four appearances in the Red V.

The Parkes Spacemen junior was elated to be extending his stay at the club he supported as a youngster.

“I was a fan of the club growing up, so to stick with the Red V for another season is exciting. If I’d told my younger self he’d be a Dragon when he grew up, he wouldn’t believe me. It makes me very happy,” Burns said in a club release.

“2022 was a disjointed campaign for me so I’m under no illusions, I have plenty of areas to work on as a player throughout pre-season and next year.”

Dragons GM of Football Ben Haran confirmed the club have extended Burns with a view to making him a first-team regular.

“Billy’s contributions over the past two seasons have been positive,” Haran said.

“The potential he has to be a permanent first-grade fixture moving forward were all key considerations when re-signing him.”

Burns’ extension comes as the club re-signs a number of young prospects, with Blake Lawrie, Jayden Sullivan, Tyrell Sloan, Jaiyden Hunt and Mat and Max Feagai all committing their futures in the past few months.

He'll be one of a number of young players expected to fill the void in experience left by the departure of back-row veterans Tariq Sims and Josh McGuire.