THE Canberra Raiders have locked up Orange junior Jack Wighton until the end of the 2016 National Rugby League season.
Wighton put pen to paper with the Green Machine yesterday, extending his stay in the nation’s capital for a further two years.
With the likes of Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson headlining high profile exits from Canberra in 2013, Wighton’s signature comes on the back of Edrick Lee’s as the Raiders look to sure up the club’s future with exciting youth.
Wighton, 20, said it was a call to his pop that convinced him to stay in Canberra.
“He gave me some advice in that I should remain loyal to the team that gave me a chance to start my career and I took that on board as well,” Wighton said with new coach Ricky Stuart highlighting the outside back as a priority signing in October.
“Getting back to pre-season training (on Thursday) and seeing all the boys faces made my decision really easy as I love this group of boys and can’t wait to play alongside them for the next few years.”
Wighton has been long ear-marked as a Raiders star of the future and in 2013 took the first steps in fulfilling that potential when he debuted for Country Origin in Coffs Harbour.
Having played centre and wing in his 27 games at the NRL level since debuting in 2012, Wighton’s versatility is also a valued commodity.
A leg injury cut short his 2013 campaign and Wighton was hoping a strong pre-season can help the talented CYMS and Bloomfield junior make an impact in the NRL in 2014.
“Having the leg injury at the end of the year got me down a bit but I realised it’s something I can come back from and I can’t wait to put in a big effort this pre-season and get back on the field,” he said.
“There’s a really good feeling at the club at the moment and we’re looking at building a strong culture.”