Key signing: one down, one to go for Sydney Roosters
ONE down, one to go.
The Sydney Roosters have kicked off their retention drive with a key signing, locking down gun prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
The back-to-back premiers boast the competition's most formidable front-row combination, but faced a battle to keep it that way in the face of the NRL's free agency frenzy.
Club powerbrokers had identified premiership-winning bookends Waerea-Hargreaves and Sio Siua Taukeiaho as priority signings.
They've taken the first step after Waerea-Hargreaves, 30, re-signed for a further three years, keeping him at the club until at least the end of 2023.
"It's an honour and a privilege to wear the Roosters jersey, and this club is definitely where my heart is," Waerea-Hargreaves said.
"From the top down, there's a special group of people at the Roosters, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to know that I'll continue to be part of the team we have here."
The Roosters will now turn their attention to re-signing Taukeiaho, who is also legitimately regarded in the top few props in the game.
His worth will no doubt be rewarded with a significantly upgraded deal.
Taukeiaho, 27, showed inspirational leadership for Tonga when he took a points victory over Kangaroos pair David Klemmer and Josh Papalii in a recent Test triumph.
That came on the back of a memorable finals series where he stood his ground against Nelson Asofa-Solomona in the preliminary final win over Melbourne when Waerea-Hargreaves was suspended.
The feeling at the Roosters is that as good as he is already, Taukeiaho's best years are still to come. For that reason, they are wary of rival clubs trying to nab him.
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