Canberra superstar Jack Wighton has re-signed until the end of the 2024 NRL season in a bid to win the Raiders a drought-breaking first premiership since 1994.
Wighton won the Clive Churchill Medal in Canberra's grand final defeat last year and believes the club have the squad to go one better in 2020.
The premiership window is wide open for the Raiders after centre Joey Leilua (to Wests Tigers), winger Jordan Rapana (rugby union) and halfback Aidan Sezer (Super League club Huddersfield Giants) were the only players to depart.
Wighton will partner England international recruit George Williams in the halves while the highly touted Curtis Scott replaces Leilua.
"I really believe we've got the team to win a grand final. I'm not saying that lightly, I know there's a lot of hard work and a lot of luck in that also but I definitely believe," Wighton said.
"If we can stay together and continue what we've built we'll be able to achieve our goal."
Wighton avoided jail time in 2018 following an alcohol-fuelled attack outside a Canberra nightclub, and the 27-year-old made a successful switch from fullback to five-eighth last year before debuting for New South Wales and Australia in the centres.
Wighton's four-year deal is reportedly worth more than $3 million and the versatile playmaker said he wants to finish his career a one-club man.
"I've been here a long time now, been here for some down times and I want to see the club go on some more up times," Wighton said.
"I love the club. They've always been there for me and I want to repay them by staying and playing the best footy I can.
"It's something that doesn't happen very much these days (being a one-club player). I just love the club, this is where my heart lies."
The future of Wighton's new teammate Scott remains uncertain as the former Melbourne centre fights police assault charges laid against him last month. The player has denied all charges.
"I've been there and done that. Nobody means to muck up," Wighton said.
"I'm not saying what's right and what's wrong or anything like that, I'm not going to talk out like that, but I'll definitely put my arm around one of my own and support him."
The Raiders remain in negotiations over new deals for co-captain Jarrod Croker, and NSW and Australia centre Nick Cotric, who are off contract at the end of the season.
Canberra open their campaign at home against Gold Coast on March 13.
© AAP 2020