National News

Canberra NRL rookie re-signs until 2023

Canberra rookie Bailey Simonsson has been rewarded for a breakout NRL season with a contract extension until the end of 2023.

Simonsson has played 19 matches in his debut campaign and has often been used to plug holes in the injury-hit Raiders backline.

The 21-year-old, who has scored eighth tries, has been primarily used as a winger but has also played fullback, centre and off the bench.

Simonsson scored the opening try in Canberra's qualifying final win against Melbourne and is on the bench for their sold-out home preliminary final against South Sydney on Friday night.

"It's been crazy. I didn't expect to play so many games," he told AAP.

"To be able to re-sign now, it's a massive opportunity and I'm so grateful to the club giving me the chance to continue my career at the Raiders.

"I can't wait for the future. I've come a long way since signing on as a train and trial deal last year.

"This club means everything to me. It's massive having a good group of players and coaching staff, it really boosts your confidence and it goes a long way to performance.

"Everyone dreams as a kid to win a premiership and play in those big moments. One step at a time though, we've just got to worry about Souths this weekend."

Canberra are one win away from their first grand final since 1994 and chief executive Don Furner said Simonsson had cemented his spot as part of the club's long-term future.

"Bailey is a talented young player who has been wonderful for the club in his debut season," Furner said.

"We're looking forward to him continuing his development. We want Bailey at the club long-term and he's a big part of the squad we're building for the future."

© AAP 2019