AUSSIE CENTRE Joel Moon has signed a new deal keeping him at Leeds Rhinos until the end of the 2018 season.
The 25-year-old has made a big impact since joining Rhinos from the then Salford City Reds – for an undisclosed fee – ahead of the 2013 campaign.
He was Rhinos’ second-highest try scorer last term, with 17 from 30 appearances and has crossed five times in 10 games this year.
The former Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors three-quarter originally signed a three-year deal and admitted he will be staying in England longer than he first planned.
Clubs in Australia have been alerted by Moon’s form at Leeds, but he said: “It wasn’t really a big decision for me to agree to the new contract.
“The club have been great to me and my family and that has been key for me.
“I am glad I have signed a big contract with Leeds, things have gone better than I could ever have imagined when I first made the move here and I am excited about the future both for me and the team.”
Moon – who has formed a dynamic left-side partnership with Ryan Hall – went on: “This is the longest contract I have ever signed with a club.
“But it is great for me, especially at this time because it gives security for my family with us expecting our second child soon.
“I am happy here and most importantly my family are happy here. To be honest, when I first came over to Super League I did not see myself staying as long as I am, but the competition is really strong and I think it has brought out the best in my game.”
Moon is part of what is regarded as Leeds’ best back division since the club’s glory days in the 1960s and 70s and news of his contract will give Rhinos a lift ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Wigan Warriors.
Coach Brian McDermott said: “This is fantastic news for the club and our plans for the next few years.
“Joel is pretty unique in the modern game given that he came from the NRL at a young age and has committed his future to the Rhinos and our competition.
“His try ratio is better than one in every two games and he has come up with some big tries for us, including last Saturday’s effort against St Helens.”
England duo Carl Ablett and Ryan Hall also recently signed five-year deals and McDermott added: “I think it speaks volumes about how committed the players are to one another that so many are happy to agree long term contracts with the club and see their future with the Rhinos.”
Leeds Rhinos have announced that there will be a minute’s silence before their game against Wigan tomorrow in memory of Leeds teacher Ann Maguire who was tragically killed earlier this week.