The Warriors have signed Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to a new one-year deal which will see the prolific winger stay at the club until the end of the 2025 season.
After originally signing a four-year deal in 2021, the 28-year-old is now set to bring up a fifth seasons for the Warriors, after previously representing the Panthers and Bulldogs in the NRL.
Watene Zelezniak’s contract comes on the back of a career-best season which saw him score 24 tries, breaking the club’s 20-year record for most tries in a season and awarded the 2023 Dally M Winger of the Year.
“Dallin has made a tremendous impact on and off the field since joining us in the challenging times when we were based in Australia,” Warriors General Manager of recruitment, pathways and development Andrew McFadden said.
“Like a number of players, he really flourished once we returned home for the 2023 season.”
Meanwhile, the Raiders have landed English international Morgan Smithies on a three-year deal which will see him stay at Canberra until the end of 2026.
The 22-year-old forward will join the Raiders on the back of a Super League grand final victory for Wigan, the club which he has played 114 games for since making his debut in 2019.
Capable at playing lock and in the second row, Smithies will follow the footsteps of several English players who have successfully made the transition into the NRL at the Raiders.
“Morgan has already achieved a lot of success in his short career, and we’re very excited about him joining the club over the next three seasons,” Raiders NRL Recruitment Manager Joel Carbone said.
“He’s come from a very strong, successful system, which will put him in good stead in his transition into the NRL.”
South Sydney have been boosted by the retention of Queensland representative forward Jai Arrow, who has re-signed with the club on a long-term deal through to at least the end of 2027.
The 28-year-old Arrow has played 143 NRL matches since making his first-grade debut for the Broncos in 2016, joining the Rabbitohs in 2021 after a three-year stint with the Gold Coast Titans from 2018 to 2020.
Having also played 12 games for the Queensland Origin side, Arrow said he was delighted to sign on with the cardinal and myrtle on a long-term deal – indicating his desire to finish his playing career with the Sydney club.
The Rabbitohs, meanwhile, have also signed Sean Keppie on a three-year deal through to the end of 2026 after the 25-year-old was released by the Sea Eagles.
Keppie has played 79 matches since making his NRL debut for Manly late in the 2019 season.
In other news, the Knights have signed former Panthers winger Tom Jenkins on a two-year deal through to the end of 2025. With the Knights farewelling strike winger Dominic Young to the Roosters in 2024, director of football Peter Parr said the 22-year-old is set to add depth to Newcastle’s outside back stocks.
“We see Tom as a long-term NRL player and we are thankful he chose the Knights,” Parr said. “He has a skillset we believe complements our style of play and will add valuable depth to our outside backs.”
Meanwhile, veteran prop Jordan McLean will bring up seven seasons with the Cowboys after agreeing to a one-year extension through to the end of 2024.
The 32-year-old, who up until Tuesday’s announcement was without a deal beyond 2023, has been a mainstay of the North Queensland pack since arriving from the Storm in 2018.
The Sea Eagles have re-signed experienced hooker Lachlan Croker to a further two seasons, taking him through to the end of 2026.
Croker has played 104 games for Manly since making his club debut for the Sea Eagles in 2018.
“Lachlan is just a fantastic advertisement for our club with regards to how he carries himself on and off the field. We are really excited about extending his contract,” said Manly coach Anthony Seibold.