Jamal Fogarty has signed a two-year contract extension with Canberra as he prepares to help the Raiders recover from the departure of halves partner Jack Wighton.
The late-blooming Fogarty has been a solid performer at halfback since arriving at Canberra in 2022.
In 2023, Fogarty produced the most try assists of any player at the eighth-placed Raiders, with his short-kicking game among the best in the league on his day.
Fogarty will turn 33 shortly after his new deal expires at the end of the 2026 season.
New recruit Kaeo Weekes and recent debutant Ethan Strange are the leading candidates to replace Canberra's favourite son Wighton at five-eighth.
But neither the former Manly utility nor the highly-rated teenager has yet been a week-in-week-out first-grader.
"Being the one senior half now that Jacko's left, we've got a lot of young fellas in the halves so hopefully I can mentor them and teach them a couple of good habits," Fogarty said.
"But also hopefully they can teach me a couple of things."
A former co-captain at Gold Coast, Fogarty's leadership abilities will also be crucial with Wighton now at South Sydney and former skipper Jarrod Croker in retirement.
"This year is a lot different losing a couple of key players in 'Jacko' and 'Toots' (Croker), but we've still got the majority of the senior boys here and got a lot of youth coming through which I'm really excited about," Fogarty said.
"We've got a good balance of experience and youth so hopefully a couple of those boys can step up this year and we can get a good start to the season and go better than we did last season. It's exciting times."
Australian Associated Press