Club legends Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah will both play on at the Wests Tigers next season after agreeing to terms for 2019.
In a massive double coup on the eve of the Tigers' final game of the season, NRL.com can reveal both Marshall and Farah on Tuesday night committed to the club for one more season.
"For the last week or so we were messaging each other a lot and talking about it more," Farah told NRL.com.
"His situation is different to mine but we regularly talked about it. Once I agreed last night I texted him and let him know. Once he texted me late last night to tell me he was staying on again, it relieved the nerves, to be honest. To know he was there for another year - the two old boys at the club - it made me feel a lot better."
Farah said there was no need to seek assurances around the club's coaching future, given he had no reason to doubt Cleary's place at the Tigers in 2019.
"I didn't really have to seek assurances," he said.
Benji re-signs with Wests Tigers
"Through all my discussions, Ivan was front and centre of everything. That was the biggest gauge for me. There was no indication that Ivan wouldn't be there. It's business as usual as far as I'm concerned."
Marshall and Farah have both been considering hanging up the boots at the end of this season, however the motivation to help the club return to finals football next year still burns strong.
"I've thought long and hard about it and changed my mind about what I should do many times," Farah said.
Farah re-signs with Wests Tigers
"When I signed on I thought this would be my last year, to be honest. I had a difficult start of the year and last year was tough as well.
"But that all changed to go back to the Tigers. I came back here with a focus of trying to enjoy my footy. What it came down to in the end was the fact I really was enjoying my footy.
"I never thought I'd be back here. The club is in a good space and I wasn't ready to walk away from it all tomorrow. Speaking to Ivan and the coaching staff there, they were keen for me to go around again and made me feel wanted. They wanted me to be around and convinced me to hang around. But don't worry, next year will be my last year that's for sure."
Part of the reason the Wests Tigers were so keen for Farah to stay on was to help the development of Jacob Liddle, who Farah insists his a big future in the game.
"I definitely see myself trying to help Jacob out," he said.
"The club has said he is the long-term No.9. With a full off-season under his belt, not two shoulder reconstructions that have stunted his development, he will be great.
"I'll push him along. We'll put some weight on him in the gym and I'll help him out on the field. We'll be there next year pushing each other, and hopefully he can establish himself."
Nightingale returns friendly fire
Nightingale leaves with a suspected dislocated elbow
Jason Nightingale's career may have come to an end as a result of some friendly fire from Dragons teammate Jeremey Latimore, and the veteran winger hasn't let him forget it either.
Nightingale and Latimore were at an RLPA education seminar earlier in the week, in which Nightingale spent the first 10 minutes paying out on the prop for dislocating his elbow in the loss to the Bulldogs last Sunday.
Young Eels shine through
At the start of the year you would have been laughed out of the room if you said George Jennings would be recognised as Parramatta's best back of 2018 in a team that includes Jarryd Hayne, Clint Gutherson, Corey Norman, Mitchell Moses, Bevan French and Michael Jennings.
But at the club's presentation night at Rosehill Racecourse on Tuesday, the younger of the two Jennings brothers at the club was awarded that honour. Also on the night, Daniel Alvaro won the player of the year while Peni Terepo was named the coach's forward of the year. Nathan Hindmarsh was also inducted into the Parramatta Eels' hall of fame.
The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.