The salary cap space freed up by David Nofoaluma and Oliver Gildart's loan moves is already being put to good use by Wests Tigers following the announcement of a contract extension for young winger Starford To’a.

The club have secured the outside back’s services until 2024 ahead of his first game against the club that gave him his NRL debut this weekend.

To’a debuted for the Newcastle Knights back in 2019 and spent three years there before his move to Concord. This season he’s played 16 games for the Tigers, scoring three tries since he moved south to Sydney in January this year.

“It’s great to have Starford locked in for the next couple of seasons,” said club CEO Justin Pascoe.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: Starford To'a of the Newcastle Knights scores a try during the round 14 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Manly Sea Eagles at McDonald Jones Stadium on August 16, 2020 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

“He’s earned an extended deal and as a club we’re delighted to have him locked away.”

Auckland-born To’a has already made a name for himself at junior representative level, having played for the Australian Schoolboys and Junior Kiwis sides.

Having finally secured a regular berth as a first-team footballer and with a number of big changes coming to the club, To’a said he was elated to be staying at the Tigers.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first season here, even though we haven’t done as well as we’d hoped,” said To’a.

“I think there have been a lot of positives to our season. We’ve really improved as a group over the last few weeks and we’ll take that progress into the final rounds and into 2023.”

Pascoe reportedly advised that the To’a deal marked the ‘beginning’ of player contract extensions at the club, who will also add veteran Pantheres rake Apisai Koroisau and Parramatta Eels gun Isaiah Papali’i to their roster next year.