Issac Luke has extended his stay at the South Sydney Rabbitohs, with the NRL club today announcing the Kiwis hooker has re-signed to the end of 2017.
The 26-year-old from Hawera admitted this month that he might be interested in completing his career in New Zealand at the Warriors. However, he is now on track to provide a decade of service to the Rabbitohs.
Luke, who is recovering from a shoulder injury that prevented him from making a 30th test for the Kiwis in the May 2 Anzac Test in Sydney, is regarded as the leading dummy half runner in the NRL.
The successful contract negotiations were welcomed by South Sydney coach Michael Maguire.
"Issac is one of the key players at our club and I've seen him become a leader amongst men during my time with the Rabbitohs," said Maguire, who became head coach in 2012.
"His work rate on the field is matched only by the effort he puts into his game and preparation off the field.
"He's a family man, who has taken this club to heart and you can see that every time he performs for the team.
"He's one of those players that everyone wants to play with, and loves playing with, and that's the kind of player we want at this club."
Luke, who played the first of his 153 first-grade games against the Melbourne Storm in 2007, said he was delighted to prolong his career in his only NRL club.
"Since 'Madge' [Maguire] joined the club I've played my best football and I think everyone recognises that he's brought the best out in me.
"I'm happy to be part of the history of this club and hopefully I can play my part in building on the legacy that was created by the past players before us.
"I look at the premiership teams on the walls and I want to be up there on that wall with them, and everyone here at the Rabbitohs is working towards the one goal.
"I'm glad I have this part of my future sorted out and I can't wait to get the all clear to get back out on the field," said Luke, who was initially contracted to the end of the 2015 season.
He injured his left shoulder against the Wests Tigers on March 21, leaving rookies Apisau Koroisau and Cameron McInnes to deputise until he returns.
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