North Queensland Cowboys hooker Jake Granville has extended his current contract with the club until the end of the 2018 season.
Granville, 26, was contracted until the end of 2016, with the club and player this week finalising a two-year extension following his breakout year in 2015.
A former player in the Intrust Super Cup for Wynnum Manly under current Cowboys mentor Paul Green, Granville blossomed in his first year at the Cowboys and was a key player in the club's run to their maiden premiership.
He played in all 28 Cowboys matches in 2015, scoring 10 tries and adding invaluable attacking spark to the side out of dummy-half. By the end of the season, Granville ranked first across the entire NRL for total dummy-half runs (189) and dummy-half run metres (1524m).
After starting the season off the bench, Granville made his starting 13 debut for the Cowboys in the team's round 4 win over the Storm, while a hat-trick of tries three weeks later against the Warriors at 1300SMILES Stadium were among the highlights of his first season in the North.
He was rewarded for his good form by being named the Cowboys' Players' Player of the Year at the end-of-season club awards.
Granville said he was pleased to be able to extend his time with the Cowboys.
"I've loved every minute of my time here so far and I can't wait for the new season to start," Granville said.
"I settled in really well, I've loved playing under Greeny again and all my teammates have been tremendous during what was a memorable season for us."
Green said Granville extending his time at the Cowboys was a credit to his determination to have an NRL career.
"Jake came through the Intrust Super Cup ranks, performed really well at that level, hung in there and is now a bona fide NRL player, which speaks volumes of his never-say-die attitude and his talent.
"It's also a great example of the Intrust Super Cup being a tremendous pathway for those players pursuing an NRL career."
Cowboys General Manager – Football Peter Parr said Granville's retention until 2018 was recognition of an excellent first season at the club.
"Jake quickly became an integral part of our team, and we were thrilled with how he progressed throughout the year," Parr said."We are delighted to have come to terms with Jake until the end of the 2018 season. His re-signing continues our strong policy of retention."
Granville and his teammates who played in the 2015 finals series will begin their 2016 pre-season training on Monday, November 30.
This article first appeared on Cowboys.com.au