ENGLAND star Mike McMeeken admitted it was a “straightforward” decision to further extend his deal at Castleford Tigers until the end of 2020.
The hulking second-row, who made his international debut against Samoa in May, was already under contract until the end of next season.
However, the 23-year-old, who joined from London Broncos at the end of 2014, has now committed his long-term future to Daryl Powell’s Super League leaders amid rumoured NRL interest.
Ever-present this campaign, with seven tries in 22 appearances, it is understood the powerful McMeeken is in line for a central contract from the RFL, too.
“It was a straightforward decision to stay here,” said the powerful player, who has formed a devastating right-edge with Benny Roberts, Jake Webster and Greg Minikin.
McMeeken added: “Since I’ve joined the club I’ve loved my time here.
“They came to me with an offer and it was a pretty simple decision for me to stay.
“I was half the player I am now when I joined this club; I knew I had the ability but being around Powelly and the rest of the coaches has helped me develop as a player.”
McMeeken, in the squad to visit Wakefield Trinity tomorrow night, was called up to Wayne Bennett’s England elite performance squad earlier this season and is likely to earn a place in the World Cup squad at the end of the season.
Powell said: “It is fantastic news for the club that Mike has agreed to extend his contract.
“We have a strong desire to keep our best players at the club and build on the journey that we have started by developing individual players and our squad moving forward.
“Mike has developed into one of the best back-rowers in the country and we think there is further development in his game over the coming seasons.
“I look forward to working with Mike on improving his game and hopefully seeing him do special things with the Tigers and in the World Cup for England at the end of the season.”