Liam Sutcliffe has signed a new three-year deal with Leeds Rhinos.
The 19-year-old made his first-team breakthrough in the recently-concluded season, making 26 appearances and winning the Challenge Cup along the way.
The former Hunslet amateur is seen as one of the long-term successors to the current creative trio of Rob Burrow, Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield, who have formed the backbone of Leeds’ era of success.
All have been mainstays over six title wins but – at 32, 31 and 34, respectively – will not be around for another decade and chief executive Gary Hetherington has spoken of a need for some continuity beyond the club’s older heads.
“As soon as Gary said the club would like to offer me a longer deal, I was more than happy to sign,” Sutcliffe said.
“I grew up dreaming of playing for the Rhinos and there is no other club I want to play for.
“I liked the comments Gary made about building a squad for the future around our young players and that does give us a boost.
“The squad will have a period of transition over the next few years and for all the squad to know the vision for us as a group is both reassuring and acts as motivation for us to carry on the great traditions of success over the last decade.”
Coach Brian McDermott added: “Liam has already shown he has all the qualities needed to succeed at the Super League level.
“He is still developing his natural game, but we saw last year that the foundations are definitely there.”