Newcastle have re-signed promising forward Sam Stone on a two-year deal, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2020 NRL season.
The son of former coach Rick Stone had one more year remaining on his current contract, but impressed in his rookie year to earn an extension.
“I love the Knights and I am very happy to sign this extension,” Stone said on Wednesday.
“We are building for a big future and I am happy to be a part of it. I have been here since I was 10 years old, my dad was part of it and I have followed the team since I was very young.
“I love the town and lifestyle, the fans are great, and I would love to stay here for as long as I can.”
The 20-year-old Stone made his first grade debut in round one this year before finishing the season with 16 games, including two tries.
He was also a part of the Junior Kangaroos side that beat the Junior Kiwis in May, but has identified strength as a key improvement area during the pre-season.
“I am very proud of what I have done and thankful to the coaches for the opportunity, but now it is time to knuckle down and work hard for the year ahead,” he said.
“First of all, putting on some weight – that is a big thing for me.
“I need to put on a couple of kilos and try and maintain my fitness while I do that. It will be a lot of hard work in the gym. Wrestle and tackle technique is another area for me.”