NRL Rd 11 - Raiders v Rabbitohs
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25: Tom Starling of the Raiders celebrates victory in the round 11 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium on July 25, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Canberra Raiders hooker Tom Starling has signed a fresh two-year contract with the club just before leaping into week one of finals, per raiders.com.au

Starling, 22, has rapidly progressed after coming into the team in round 10 following a knee injury that ended Captain Josh Hodgson’s season.

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He has been working closely with Siliva Havili as well this season, being given the role with Havili to cover for Hodgson for the remainder of the season.

Starling has been a large part of the Raiders race towards the finals with a 94.5% tackle efficiency and is hoping to make his NRL finals debut against the Sharks on Saturday.

The hooker said he was grateful for the chance to be able to continue his NRL career with the Raiders.

“I’m really happy to get the chance to extend my time in Canberra, especially since the Raiders are the club that gave me an opportunity to train last year and get myself into their squad,” Starling said.

“To sign for a further two years is really exciting, and I can’t wait to play in my first finals game this weekend.”

Coach Ricky Stuart said that Starlings dedication to the game and willingness to play is the reason as to why they decided to re-sign him.

“It’s key position at hooker and when Josh was injured, there were a lot of heads that went down. I’m fortunate because I see what work Tommy does. I see all the hard work he puts in and the work he puts into the combinations with his halves,” Stuart said.

“That’s a credit to him for sticking and committing to all his training and being patient. He got his crack and he’s got an extra two years out of that too. We’re very fortunate to have Tom Starling at the club.”