The South Sydney Rabbitohs have extended the contracts of Alex Johnston and Cameron McInnes until at least the end of 2017.
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Johnston, 20, had impressed in his 27 NRL so far since debuting in the 2014 ANZAC Day clash against the Brisbane Broncos.
He made his debut for the Kangaroos in this year’s ANZAC Day Test against New Zealand following his excellent performances for the Rabbitohs.
21-year-old McInnes has played 12 first-grade matches since making his debut against St George Illawarra in round five, 2014.
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire says the club was delighted to keep hold of two of its young guns.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be extending the contracts of both ‘AJ’ and ‘Cam’,” Maguire said in a Rabbitohs statement.
“It always something special when you see Souths juniors coming through the ranks, and I’m really looking forward to working with both of them on a long term basis.
“Both of them have worked very hard to achieve what they have so far, and we know they are capable of much more as their careers progress.
“Both are young leaders amongst the playing group, and have served great apprenticeships in recent seasons under senior players like Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt and Issac Luke.
“They’re both ready to take on greater roles on field now and we couldn’t be happier to have them commit to the club long term.”
Johnston, who has 28 first-grade tries to his name, said he was looking forward to repaying the club following the faith it showed in him.
“I’m really happy to have my future for the next few years sorted out and I’m even happier that the future is with Souths,” Johnston said.
“”I love playing with this team, they’re my best mates, and playing for Souths is what I’ve always wanted to do.
“The club has looked after me and developed me through the grades, along with the guys at Souths Juniors, and I’m looking forward to working hard and repaying the faith they have shown in me over the years.”
McInnes captained the Junior Kangaroos in its Test against the Junior Kiwis last year, but says re-signing for the Rabbitohs was a dream come true.
“I could not be happier about re-signing with Souths. It’s a dream come true,” McInnes said.
“Growing up playing for the Botany Rams, all we ever wanted to do was play for Souths, and to be able to represent the Club, the Members and the fans every week is something very special.
“I’m really happy to have my future at the Club sorted out and I’m really looking forward to the hard work ahead to help the team achieve its goals.”