St Helens have announced that Joe Batchelor has signed a new two-year contract until at least the end of the 2023 season.
Batchelor joined St Helens in 2019 from York City Knights on a three-year contract and in April 2019 made his debut in the Easter Monday win against Hull FC.
He spent the majority of that year on dual-registration with both York and Leigh Centurions, as well as making four appearances for the Saints, repeating that number in 2020.
But this season Batchelor, 26, has made his mark in the first team, becoming a regular selection, playing 16 games so far, including scoring his first Saints tries against Hull FC and Catalans and appearing in last month’s Betfred Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.
“I am over the moon to extend my time here,” Batchelor said.
“When I signed three years ago, I knew this was the club for me and I knew I wanted to stay here.
“This was always the aim and I am delighted to sign on for another two years. It has been tough to break into the team and I knew that would be the case with the world class players we have here at the club, but I am delighted that I have been able to get into the team, prove my worth and I have been rewarded with a new deal.
“I always backed myself and I just needed a small run of games and I knew I would be able to prove my worth. I am now looking forward to what the future may hold here at Saints.”
Saints coach Kristian Woolf said: “I am really happy to be able to re-sign Joe. He is an integral member of the team who is well-respected. Joe has earnt that respect of the group through his willingness to work hard and compete every week.
“What I like about what he has done is that he didn’t start the year in our side, but through hard work and persistence he has taken his opportunity and is now an important player in our team.
“He is a versatile player who can also play on the edge or down the middle and will play a big part for us in the future. I am looking forward to seeing him continue to improve.”
Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus added: “Joe has continued to improve over the last couple of seasons and we are confident that he will make further progress. He will contend even more strongly for a regular position in the team.
“He is also one of the most popular members of our squad and we are all very happy that he has committed to us for the next two years.”