AUSTRALIAN TALISMAN Mitch Garbutt has signed a new contract keeping him at Leeds Rhinos until the end of 2019.
The 26-year-old front-rower joined Rhinos in July and played in their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, First Utility Super League leaders’ shield and Grand Final-winning teams in his first 14 games for the club.
The former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos forward originally signed a two and a half-year contract, but has now agreed a longer-term deal and been awarded squad number 17 for 2016.
“With how everything has panned out this season, I was delighted to sign a new deal and commit my future to the Rhinos,” Garbutt said.
“I am really excited about how things are going for the future. This is the most I have ever enjoyed my footy and I can’t wait for next season.
“I am looking forward to experiencing the weather this winter during pre-season and I think I will be better for it.”
Garbutt added: “My family and I have adapted well to life over here in England and a lot of that is down to the club and how well everything has been done for us from the moment we stepped off the plane from Australia.
“Everything was pretty easy from that point onwards. We are aiming to settle down in Leeds and we have been made to feel so welcome, not just by the staff and players at the club, but also the fans who have been great as well.”
Coach Brian McDermott said: “It is remarkable how well Mitch has fitted into our culture since he arrived here last year.
“He deserves a lot of credit for that because of his attitude and professionalism.
“The prospect of him having a full pre-season with us is exciting given how well he has settled in since he arrived and I am delighted he has committed his future to the club.”
Around half Rhinos’ squad will begin pre-season training on Monday, including Australian hooker Beau Falloon, who will arrive in this country at the weekend.