Josh McCrone
Raiders looking to extend

The Canberra Raiders will ramp up negotiations with playmaker Josh McCrone as soon as this week in an effort to secure his services long term.

The five-eighth and fullback Josh Dugan are the only regular first graders yet to sign with the Raiders beyond the end of next year.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner will soon hold talks with McCrone’s manager Steve Gillis about a contract extension, possibly until the end of 2014.

McCrone has been one of Canberra’s standouts this season, assuming a greater leadership role in the absence of star playmaker Terry Campese. Given Campese will be the chief playmaker next season, it may free McCrone to concentrate on his explosive running game.

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The fact Canberra views McCrone as a long-term investment means competition for halves spots will be ferocious in 2012.

McCrone is understood to be the front runner to partner Campese next year, but Sam Williams and Michael Picker also have claims.

Read more at the Canberra Times