St Helens hooker Aaron Smith, the club's understudy to skipper James Roby, has committed his future to the Super League leaders by signing a contract extension until the end of 2022.
Smith, 22, came through Saints' academy but made his Super League debut for Hull KR during a loan spell and, with limited opportunities at his hometown club, has also played for York, Featherstone and Leigh.
Smith, who has made four senior appearances for Saints this season, said: "Being a local lad growing up in St Helens and coming to watch as a kid, it feels great to be able to sign on again and I can now move my career on.
"It has been great to train and work alongside the likes of James Roby who has helped me a lot. He has helped me develop my game and I have tried to model my game on the way he plays.
"There is no better role model than him and hopefully one day I become half the player he has been and have some sort of legacy within the club. That is the ultimate dream."
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said: "I am delighted Aaron has signed on for another three years.
"Aaron has proven this season he is a Super League player. His performances this season have shown what a bright future he has.
"He is a great young player to coach and is another product of promoting young players from our academy system.
"Aaron is learning from the best in James Roby on how the game should be played and what is required off the field to be a Saints player."