The Raiders have locked down second-rower Joseph Tapine to 2023 with a contract extension.Canberra have secured Joseph Tapine’s services long-term, ensuring he’s not available to rival NRL clubs when the open market begins next week.
The Raiders announced the 24-year-old New Zealand Test second-rower had signed a new four-year deal on Wednesday, keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2023 season.
Had they not acted, Tapine would have been open to approaches from other clubs from November 1 as his previous contract expired after next season.
“Although Joe was already on contract until the end of the 2019 season we identified him as a priority re-signing and we’re delighted to be able to extend his contract with the club,” Raiders recruitment manager Peter Mulholland said.
“Joe has the ability and skill set to be one of the games best young forwards and we see him as a huge part of our future.
“We’re excited to watch him progress as a player and leader within our side over the next few seasons.”
The deal takes Tapine one season past the long-term deals of fellow Raiders stars Josh Hodgson and Josh Papalii who are signed until the end of 2022.
After moving to the club from Newcastle in 2016, Tapine enjoyed his best year in Raiders colours last season.
He averaged more than 30 tackles per game and also busted through 59 tackles himself as he became one of Canberra’s most dangerous forwards with ball in hand.
“Moving to the Raiders has been the best decision for my footy and I know by extending my time here in Canberra I can continue to become a better player,” Tapine said.
“I’m confident in the group of players and coaches we have that we can keep improving and be a better and more consistent team.”