St George Illawarra Dragons backrower Tyson Frizell has signed a new deal that will keep the local product at the club until the end of the 2017 season.
Frizell is still on holidays from all club duties due to his participation in the recent Rugby League World Cup with Wales, but spoke to NRL.com from Hurstville Westfield where he is volunteering to help out with the club's 'Secret Santa' initiative, handing out Westfield vouchers to people doing their Christmas shopping along with Kyle Stanley, Ben Hornby and Mark Gasnier.
He said that as a Wollongong junior, the decision to extend his stay at the club was an easy one.
"I was real happy with that you know, I wanted to get that organised and done before the season started so I could focus solely on my footy," he said.
"I was more than happy to re-sign, with my family [living in the area]. I'm happy where I am at the moment so I'm looking forward to having a good season next year.
"I grew up in the Wollongong area and I was a Wollongong junior so getting offered to re-sign again was sort of an easy decision for me to do, so I'm more than happy with how it's happened."
The 22-year-old Illawarra Sports High School product made his NRL debut for Cronulla in 2011, playing 12 games over two seasons before joining the Dragons for 2013 on a two-year deal and playing 22 matches. He has also played six games for Wales in the 2011 Four Nations and the recently completed World Cup.
Despite having his playing future organised and impressing in his recent representative appearances, Frizell said he knows he will still have to earn a spot in the Dragons side for next year.
"That's the good thing this year, all the spots are up for grabs so the boys are all on their toes and doing their best to cement their spot in the 17 for the year," he said.
Speaking on his recent World Cup appearances with Wales, Frizell said he was hopeful he could use the extra confidence and experience to boost his future performances – not dissimilar to the way a young Jarryd Hayne did after returning from a stint at the 2008 World Cup with Fiji before exploding into world-beating form in 2009.
"It was a great experience, going over there and playing with and against people from all over the world. It was great and really enjoyable," Frizell said.
"Hopefully that give me a bit more confidence, the experience of going to a World Cup, hopefully it does a lot of good for me."