The Sydney Roosters have announced the re-signings of key players Billy Smith and Connor Watson ahead of the upcoming season.

Billy Smith has agreed to a one-year contract extension, while Watson has re-committed for a further two years despite interest from the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Born and bred in the Eastern Suburbs, Smith successfully came up through the club's pathways system before making his NRL debut in 2019. However, he has continually struggled with injuries throughout his career.

A graduate of Scots College, Smith has played 27 games to date - scoring 34 points - and will be looking to add to his career game tally if he remains fit and healthy.

“I'm so grateful to the Roosters for the loyalty they've shown me over the years. I love the Club and I look forward to continuing to repay the Roosters for the belief they have always had in me,” said Smith in a club statement.

“For me personally, 2023 was my best year of footy and I'm excited to build on that in 2024."

Head coach Trent Robinson was ecstatic to see Smith return to Bondi and will hope to see him continue to grow after a breakout season this year.

“Billy is an Eastern Suburbs local and he is respected by his teammates for his dedication to all aspects of his preparation and performance," Robinson added.

"It was terrific to see Billy's growth throughout the 2023 season and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with him,” said Robinson.

NRL Rd 25 - Roosters v Rabbitohs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 02: Connor Watson of the Roosters passes the ball during the round 25 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium on September 02, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

After missing the entire duration of last season and heavy interest from the Canterbury Bulldogs - that would have seen him follow teammates Drew Hutchison and Jake Turpin -, Watson has decided to a two-year extension with the Sydney Roosters.

Watson is known for his versatility and started with the Roosters before moving to the Newcastle Knights on a four-yeat stint. He would return at the beginning of the 2022 season and has appeared in 125 NRL games to date.

“I'm stoked to re-commit to the Roosters for another two years. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with the coaches and players we have here, and to play my role for the team,” said Watson.

Trent Robinson also spoke about the retention of Connor Watson. Whilst he was sidelined for the entirety of the 2023 season, Robinson was impressed with him being a mentor to the younger players in the squad.

“While we were all disappointed for Connor at the time of his injury, it says a lot about his character that he used the year to mentor some of the younger players in our squad and to work on areas of his own development both on and off the field,” said Robinson.

“He is a much-loved member of our Club for the player and person he is, and it's great that he will continue to represent the Roosters for the next few years,” he added.

MORE TO COME...