Rugby League


Shaun Fensom commits to another three years with Canberra Raiders

They've locked up Shaun Fensom for another three years, and the Canberra Raiders are on the lookout to bolster their forward pack further with Penrith and NSW Origin prop Tim Grant potentially in their sights.

Star second-rower Fensom gave the club a major boost before Sunday night's opening home game against Gold Coast by re-signing until the end of 2017 on a three-year deal believed to be worth about $1.5million. 

Fairfax Media understands Grant, 25, is one of a few players the Raiders are monitoring as they prepare to make several key decisions on the long-term make-up of their forward pack. 

Veteran bookends Dane Tilse, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Brett White are all out of contract at the end of this season, while Queensland Origin prop David Shillington's deal expires at the end of 2015. 

Grant, who played two Origin games for the Blues in 2012, is contracted to Penrith until 2015. 

But an off-season recruiting spree which netted Jamal Idris, Peter Wallace, Jamie Soward, Brent Kite, Kevin Naiqama, Tyrone Peachey and Elijah Taylor means the Panthers may come under salary cap pressure. 


Two-time Mal Meninga medallist Fensom, rated by many as a future Raiders captain, has been the club's priority signing for some time. 

It is believed the 25-year-old attracted strong offers from elsewhere, particularly the New Zealand Warriors who saw him as an ideal player to add grit to their forward pack.  

But Fensom said he had no intention of leaving a club he first joined as a rising star eight years ago. 

"If there was any [other interest] I wanted to stay here, and I made that clear,'' Fensom said. 

"I moved down here straight out of school in 2006, I've got my roots here and I'm undertaking an apprenticeship at the moment. 

"I'm more than happy to stay here and it gives me a lot of security."

Fensom said the hard-nosed culture new coach Ricky Stuart is looking to instil into the club was a major factor in his decision to commit long term. 

"We're building a very good culture here and the first two rounds you can see what our potential is,'' Fensom said. 

"There's a lot more belief and unity about the club. Everyone's starting to believe in each other and buy into what we can do."

It's another coup for new coach Ricky Stuart, who already locked up young backs Jack Wighton and Edrick Lee long term over summer. 

Fensom will miss Sunday's Titans clash after accepting a one week ban for a crusher tackle on Dane Gagai in last week's 26-20 win in Newcastle.

The NRL announced at the start of the season it would adopt a more hard line stance on crusher tackles and shoulder charges. 

"I had no intent of doing what happened in that tackle,'' Fensom said. 

"It was a very unfortunate incident, I just have to take it on the chin and move on with it.

"I'm pretty disappointed not to be playing this week, I just have to concentrate on getting back better for the [round four] Souths game.''

Fensom could well be in line to take over from skipper Terry Campese toward the end of his contract. 

"If that does happen I'd be more than happy to take that role,'' Fensom said. 


NRL round three: Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans at Canberra Stadium, 6.30pm

TV Time: Live on Fox Sports

Tickets available from Ticketek