PROMISING back-rower Sam Stone has joined the Newcastle Knights’ 2020 vision, signing a two-year contract extension with his hometown NRL club.
The Knights are expected to announce on Wednesday the deal which keeps the Lakes United and Valentine-Eleebana product at the club until the end of 2020.
The 20-year-old, who stands at 194 centimetres, made his NRL debut in round one this year after coming through the Knights under-20s ranks.
He earned the activation of a one-year extension to his Knights deal in July as rival clubs began to circle.
The son of former Newcastle coach Rick Stone went on to play 16 games and scored two tries.
His emergence was one of the highlights for the Nathan Brown-coached Newcastle as they slid to a third consecutive wooden spoon.
Stone, who played for the Junior Kangaroos and scored a try against the Junior Kiwis in May, joins 21-year-old props Jacob and Daniel Saifiti in committing to Newcastle recently for an extra two years past next season.
Mitch Barnett, Nathan Ross, Danny Levi and recruits Herman Ese’ese, Tautau Moga, Connor Watson and Aidan Guerra are also on the Knights’ books until the end of 2020.
Former North Queensland tyro Kalyn Ponga is locked in until the end of 2021.
Stone was in the Knights junior system from the age of 15 and said before playing at the Auckland Nines this year that “I couldn’t see myself playing for any other club. I mean, I’ve grown up around the Knights ... I wouldn’t change a thing.
“I’m still happy to be at the Knights for as long as I possibly can.’’