Huddersfield Giants star Sebastine Ikahihifo has signed a new three-year deal with the club.
The New Zealand-born forward was one of Super League’s star performers last year, with his efforts earning him a place in the Super League Dream Team.
Ikahihifo, 27, joined the Giants midway through the 2016 season and has 42 appearances in claret and gold since.
He was out of contract at the end of the season and looked set to be one of the most in-demand players on the market when players are free to speak to clubs in May. However, the Giants have stepped in and tied the former New Zealand Warriors forward down to a new three-year deal.
“I’m delighted to sign a new contract and want to achieve something for Huddersfield and build something special here,” he said.
“I think when you look back over the past 10 years, everyone looks at the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield win but I want to build on that and do something that Huddersfield will remember for the next 20 years.
“I feel that I can help set an example for the young guys that are coming through by training hard, eating well and then that manifests onto the field, if you set that example for them then hopefully we can start something special at the Club.
“I’m very ambitious. It’s one thing to be named as one of the prop’s in the Dream Team but you’ve got to do something to stay at the top of that hill and defend it. There are a lot of props out there that are playing really well and I take that as a challenge, I like to compete and I think this is the best place for me to be able to perform.”
It’s the latest boost for Rick Stone, with Oliver Roberts recently signing a new five-year deal with the club.
Stone had told League Express last year that talks were underway with Ikahihifo, and the Giants are now understood to be focusing on several other players and their futures, with the likes of Danny Brough and Jake Mamo off-contract at the end of the season.
Stone said: “We’re starting to get through and sure up the team with the people that we want to keep long-term, which is very important if we’re going to build a team that is going to be successful. Seb is one of the cornerstones for us and everyone will be happy to have him here for a long while.”