Edrick Lee re-signs with Canberra Raiders until 2017

Edrick Lee re-signs with Canberra Raiders until 2017

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has praised Edrick Lee for pledging his long-term future to the club and says talks with fellow young guns Anthony Milford and Jack Wighton are on-going.

Lee gave the Raiders a welcome pre-season boost on Wednesday, signing a new three-year deal until the end of 2017.

Re-signed ... Edrick Lee will stay with the Raiders until 2017.

Re-signed ... Edrick Lee will stay with the Raiders until 2017.Credit:Jeffrey Chan

The exciting winger showed glimpses of his prodigious talent in the past two seasons before breaking an arm in round 13 this year.

The 21-year-old had a year left on his existing deal with the Raiders and is the first player to re-sign with the club since Stuart was appointed to the coaching role last month. Stuart praised the Queensland under-20s representative for remaining loyal to the Raiders after he was recruited through their junior development system.


''It takes a bit of courage for a kid to sign a long-term deal, and he's a confident young man with a lot of courage,'' Stuart said.

''It's great for the future of the club that we can retain that type of player. He gives you that little bit of difference and it's important you have those types of players in your team. He's young and he's got all his best football in front of him.''

Lee has scored 13 tries in just 16 NRL appearances, including a hat-trick and three doubles.

Now that he's locked away, the Raiders will turn their attention to retaining Milford and Wighton. Milford has put off contract talks until he returns from representing Samoa at the World Cup.

The Raiders are adamant the 19-year-old will see out the final year of his contract, but are keen to convince him to stay beyond next season. Milford had sought an early release so he could return to Queensland to be closer to his family, with the Brisbane Broncos keen to secure his services.

Wighton made his representative debut for Country this year and is rated as a future State-of-Origin prospect.

The powerful outside back will be highly sought after when he comes off contract at the end of next year.

''There's a plan in place for some other younger players and we'll continue on with that,'' Stuart said.

''It's ongoing, it's always a process to follow. Now I'm in Canberra full-time we'll start pumping that up a bit.''

Stuart said he was always looking for ways to bolster his squad for next season, but admitted there weren't many players available at this time of year.

Lee was delighted to have his contract sorted before a gruelling pre-season. ''It's fantastic to have my long-term future at the club where I made my debut and who I love playing for,'' Lee said. ''It's going to be a hard pre-season, but I'm keen to get it started and try and cement a place in the team.''

Lee Gaskin is a sports reporter at The Canberra Times.

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