Raiders re-sign Soliola until end of 2018

Canberra have locked in the final piece of their player puzzle, re-signing veteran Sia Soliola until the end of the 2018 NRL season.

Soliola was the last remaining first-grade regular to commit beyond this year, following deals with Josh Hodgson, Josh Papalii, Blake Austin, Joey Leilua, Shannon Boyd and Jack Wighton in recent months.

That’s in addition to new recruits Aidan Sezer, Elliott Whitehead and Joe Tapine.

Soliola’s contract was to expire at the end of this season, but the Raiders and coach Ricky Stuart were keen to extend his stay given the impact he’s had since arriving from St Helens last year.

He was named the club’s best and fairest in 2015 and is a part of the senior leadership group.

“Ricky has done great things here and it would have been pretty silly not to consider this club because it’s such a great club with a great history,” the 29-year-old said.

“There’s great optimism around at the moment and I think a lot of the boys are pretty excited at the start of the year and how they are going to progress. I want to be a part of that.”

The backrower said his ultimate goal was to win a premiership and get the Raiders “back on the pedestal they belong”.

“I think we have a squad that can be successful for sure,” he added.

Chief executive Don Furner said Soliola was invaluable, especially for the club’s younger players.

“Sia leads by his actions in everything he does and the respect he receives amongst the players and staff here at the club shows what a wonderful asset he is to our organisation,” Furner said.

Soliola remains sidelined with a broken arm and is not expected back for another three or four weeks.

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