Jack Wighton signs four-year extension with Canberra Raiders | The Canberra Times

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Clive Churchill Medallist Jack Wighton could’ve been a million-dollar man, but he decided to stay with the Canberra Raiders to chase an NRL premiership. Given both he and the club have stood by each other, the Australian international feels the ledger is square. Wighton signed a four-year deal believed to be worth about $3.5 million, which will keep him with the Green Machine until the end of 2024. It’s capped a stunning turnaround over the past two years, where he went from almost having his contract torn up due to several assault charges to becoming one of the best players in the NRL. A switch to five-eighth from fullback sparked him not only making his NSW State of Origin debut, but also breaking into the Australian side. He was a crucial part of the Raiders’ charge to the 2019 grand final, where he was named best on ground in a losing side. By the end of his new deal Wighton will have played 13 NRL seasons with the Green Machine and he’ll be 31 by the time he’s off-contract again. A host of NRL clubs inquired about him, but they were never really in the running with Wighton only ever interested in staying in Canberra with his young family. So much so, he wants to be that rare NRL beast – a one-club player. “I think I’m on the path to that well and truly now with this contract,” Wighton said. “It’s something I’m stoked about. It’s something that doesn’t happen much these days. MORE CANBERRA SPORT “If I can become a one-man club in a city like Canberra I’d be really grateful. “I love it here, love the community and I love the team. “I’ve been here a long time. Been here on some downtimes. I want to see the club go on some uptimes. “I think we’ve got the team to do it so it was definitely any easy decision to stay with this bunch of boys and coaching staff.” The 27-year-old from Orange came through the Raiders under-18s and under-20s and has played 156 NRL games. Canberra stood by him when he was found guilty of assault in 2018. Now, he’s stood by the club as well. “I think we’re pretty even. I repaid them, they repaid me and I love the club,” he said. “I love the club. It’s not about loyalty I just love the club. This is where my heart lies and this is the decision I made and I’m very happy with it.” Wighton’s manager Matt Rose said “90 per cent” of NRL clubs spoke to him about his player’s plans. But the fact Wighton put team success first showed exactly what he’s about. “I would say 80 per cent of clubs talked to me asking what Jack was going to do, probably even 90 per cent,” Rose said. “I already had deals on the table over a millions dollars. “So for Jack to stay here for less money and to try to win a premiership, and keep a team together like he’s done probably shows the true character and where he is at the moment in his life.” With Wighton locked down, the Raiders will turn their attention to extending co-captain Jarrod Croker and young gun Nick Cotric before the start of the season, along with their other off-contract players. Wighton expressed his desire to finish his NRL career with the Green Machine and Raiders chief executive Don Furner wanted both Croker and Cotric to do the same. Croker’s played 257 games for Canberra and holds almost every club record under the sun. Furner’s set to meet with his manager next week and will also meet with Cotric’s in the coming weeks now that he’s returned from holidays. “It’s significant because that will take [Wighton] past 10 years and it’s unusual these days,” Furner said. “Obviously we’d love to make all three of them play out their whole careers here. “No one would like to see Jarrod Croker go anywhere else but this club. I’d love to see him finish his career here. “And he’s still a long way from that. That’s our aim as a club to have those sort of guys that stay with us.” NRL NINES Friday: Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans at Perth, 9.15pm. Saturday: Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs, 3.55pm.

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February 12 2020 – 4:30PM

Clive Churchill Medallist Jack Wighton could’ve been a million-dollar man, but he decided to stay with the Canberra Raiders to chase an NRL premiership.

Given both he and the club have stood by each other, the Australian international feels the ledger is square.

Raiders star Jack Wighton could've been a million-dollar man, but he wants to be a one-club player. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Raiders star Jack Wighton could’ve been a million-dollar man, but he wants to be a one-club player. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Wighton signed a four-year deal believed to be worth about $3.5 million, which will keep him with the Green Machine until the end of 2024.

It’s capped a stunning turnaround over the past two years, where he went from almost having his contract torn up due to several assault charges to becoming one of the best players in the NRL.

A switch to five-eighth from fullback sparked him not only making his NSW State of Origin debut, but also breaking into the Australian side.

He was a crucial part of the Raiders’ charge to the 2019 grand final, where he was named best on ground in a losing side.

By the end of his new deal Wighton will have played 13 NRL seasons with the Green Machine and he’ll be 31 by the time he’s off-contract again.

A host of NRL clubs inquired about him, but they were never really in the running with Wighton only ever interested in staying in Canberra with his young family.

So much so, he wants to be that rare NRL beast – a one-club player.

“I think I’m on the path to that well and truly now with this contract,” Wighton said.

“It’s something I’m stoked about. It’s something that doesn’t happen much these days.

“If I can become a one-man club in a city like Canberra I’d be really grateful.

“I love it here, love the community and I love the team.

“I’ve been here a long time. Been here on some downtimes. I want to see the club go on some uptimes.

“I think we’ve got the team to do it so it was definitely any easy decision to stay with this bunch of boys and coaching staff.”

The 27-year-old from Orange came through the Raiders under-18s and under-20s and has played 156 NRL games.

Canberra stood by him when he was found guilty of assault in 2018. Now, he’s stood by the club as well.

“I think we’re pretty even. I repaid them, they repaid me and I love the club,” he said.

“I love the club. It’s not about loyalty I just love the club. This is where my heart lies and this is the decision I made and I’m very happy with it.”

Wighton’s manager Matt Rose said “90 per cent” of NRL clubs spoke to him about his player’s plans.

But the fact Wighton put team success first showed exactly what he’s about.

Wighton wants to help the Raiders win a premiership. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Wighton wants to help the Raiders win a premiership. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

“I would say 80 per cent of clubs talked to me asking what Jack was going to do, probably even 90 per cent,” Rose said.

“I already had deals on the table over a millions dollars.

“So for Jack to stay here for less money and to try to win a premiership, and keep a team together like he’s done probably shows the true character and where he is at the moment in his life.”

With Wighton locked down, the Raiders will turn their attention to extending co-captain Jarrod Croker and young gun Nick Cotric before the start of the season, along with their other off-contract players.

Wighton expressed his desire to finish his NRL career with the Green Machine and Raiders chief executive Don Furner wanted both Croker and Cotric to do the same.

Croker’s played 257 games for Canberra and holds almost every club record under the sun.

Furner’s set to meet with his manager next week and will also meet with Cotric’s in the coming weeks now that he’s returned from holidays.

“It’s significant because that will take [Wighton] past 10 years and it’s unusual these days,” Furner said.

“Obviously we’d love to make all three of them play out their whole careers here.

“No one would like to see Jarrod Croker go anywhere else but this club. I’d love to see him finish his career here.

“And he’s still a long way from that. That’s our aim as a club to have those sort of guys that stay with us.”

Friday: Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans at Perth, 9.15pm.

Saturday: Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs, 3.55pm.

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