Roosters re-sign Radley until 2023
The Roosters have locked up local junior Victor Radley with a five-year extension tying him to the club until the end of 2023.
Radley has turned plenty of heads with his bone-rattling hits this season, despite giving away up to 20 kilos on rival forwards as the smallest man in the Tricolours pack.
The 20-year-old was already contracted until the end of next season, but the Roosters have moved to keep him off the market and ward off interest from rivals with a lengthy new deal.
"There are no words for how proud I am to represent the Roosters, I just love the club," Radley said on Wednesday.
"I'm learning so much from Robbo (coach Trent Robinson), the coaches and all the senior boys, and this is where I want to build a career, so I'm stoked that I'll continue to be a part of the team here."
Such has been Radley's rise in the past 18 months, NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has spoken about him as a possible Origin bolter after just 17 NRL outings.
He also has established a cult following among Roosters fans, with up to 50 family and friends in attendance at home games and voicing their support for the young forward.
Radley's impressive showings around the ruck have at times placed pressure on Friend, to the point where sections of Roosters fans have called for Radley to replace his dummy-half mentor mid-game.
While Friend has battled a painful sternum injury across the start of 2018, Radley sees his future in the back-row and has nothing but praise for his skipper.
Radley's retention puts him on par with Boyd Cordner's recent extension until the end of 2023 as the longest terms among the Roosters playing group, a clear indication of his standing at the club.
"Victor is an instinctive footballer with an outstanding work ethic," Roosters recruitment manager Adam Hartigan said.
"His enthusiasm is infectious and just as importantly, he is a good man away from the field.
"With his best football still ahead of him, it's great news for the Roosters to have Victor locked in to the club's long-term plans."