Young gun second-rower Jacob Halangahu has put pen to paper with the St George Illawarra Dragons on a deal that will see him become a fulltime NRL player from 2025.

Currently on the Sunshine Coast ahead of the Australian Schoolboys clash with the Papua New Guinea under-20s side in Port Moresby, Halangahu is rated as one of the best young talents in the game.

A second-rower, he captained the Dragons Harold Matthews side this year and will likely make the jump to the under-19s SG Ball side next year before pushing for Jersey Flegg honours.

He will be a development player in 2024 before moving further up the chain at the Dragons, with the young gun saying the deal hasn't sunk in yet.

“It's pretty surreal at the moment,” Halangahu said in a club statement announcing the news.

“It hasn't really sunk in. I'm over the moon to get it done... I'm top 30 end of next year. I'll move down to Wollongong from Sydney. Get that under my belt and then see where it goes.”

A Penrith local junior, Halangahu has played his football for the Minchinbury Jets and Brothers Penrith before making the switch to the Dragons at Harold Matthews Cup level.

He said that despite being eligible for the Harold Matthews Cup again, he wants to play SG Ball in 2024.

“I want to do up an age in SG Ball for preseason,” he said.

“Then play SG Ball, and hopefully, by the end of the year, start playing Flegg and training with Flegg.”

The youngster is a long-term friend of Finau Latu, who is also in the Australian Schoolboys squad, and has also signed an upgraded deal at the Dragons in recent times.

The Dragons have put a particular emphasis on securing their own youth pathways in recent times after going through a period of losing the club's most talented players.

While Jayden Sullivan has departed, the Dragons have locked up a host of young players who are yet to play first-grade, or are on the fringes of first grade. Sione Fainu recently added to his time at the Dragons, while Savelio Tamale, Dylan Egan, Nick Tsougranis and Hamish Stewart all extended their time at the club earlier this year.