The Gold Coast Titans have confirmed inspiration NRLW forward Shannon Mato won't be going anywhere, re-signing with the club on a long-term deal.

In what is one of the longest NRLW deals signed to date, Mato has added four years to her time on the Gold Coast and now won't be going anywhere until at least the end of the 2027 season.

It comes with the NRLW being included for the first time on an NRL collective bargaining agreement earlier this year, allowing for longer-term deals to be signed by NRLW players.

Mato was one of the stars for the Titans in 2023 as the club rose from a 2022 wooden spoon to the grand final, although they ultimately came up short in the decider against the Newcastle Knights, who went back-to-back.

The prop was named to the NRLW Dally M team of the year at the conclusion of the season, and coach Karyn Murphy, who herself was named NRLW coach of the year, said she was thrilled to lock up Mato.

“Shannon is a hugely important member of our pack as one of the most powerful forwards in the NRLW competition and her numbers give a great snapshot of how lethal she was for us this year up front,” Murphy said in a statement confirming the news.

“Well-deserving of back-to-back player of the year honours, she took her game to a whole new level again in 2023 with her metre-eating ability up front, especially after first contact; but most importantly, her aggression and intensity in defence is what has really impressed me.

“But whilst she might be ferocious on-field, she has such a bright, bubbly and caring personality off the field, which is hugely important for the make-up and balance of our squad.

“I'm really excited to have her locked in with us long-term and continue building our strong starting middle third partnership, which also includes Jess Elliston and Georgia Hale.”

With the NRL eyeing off further expansion for the NRLW in the years to come, with the New Zealand Warriors and South Sydney Rabbitohs said to be among the most likely teams to enter the competition next, locking up stars long-term could be on a number of clubs radars.

The next NRLW season is likely to kick-off in late July without any immediate expansion, again played in a nine-round season before semi-finals and a grand final, with the decider again to be played on the same day as the men's grand final at Homebush.