The Sydney Roosters' NRL re-signing spree has continued with Sitili Tupouniua securing a three-year extension.
The Tricolours entered the contract window as the club seemingly most vulnerable to opposition raids, with a host of big-name talent able to negotiate with rivals for 2025 from November 1.
But the Roosters have since moved to confirm the re-signings of Nat Butcher, Siua Wong, Billy Smith, Connor Watson, Sandon Smith and now Tupouniua.
Veterans Luke Keary and Daniel Tupou, in-demand utility Joseph Manu, up-and-coming prop Terrell May and former NSW forward Angus Crichton are still without deals beyond 2024.
Tupouniua has played 85 games in red, white and blue since making his NRL debut in 2018, but had his 2023 campaign curtailed by injury.
The long-term contract extension ties Tupouniua to the Roosters through 2027 and is a significant showing of faith from a club with plenty of depth in the back row.
The 26-year-old is set to jostle with Wong, Butcher and Crichton for opportunities on the edge next season but can also play through the middle as required.
"Sitili is a genuinely good person and I've loved watching his development over the years," said coach Trent Robinson.
"His dedication and commitment to improvement make him a key component of our future plans so it's exciting that he will continue to be a part of the Roosters family."
Elsewhere, St George Illawarra second-rower Billy Burns has joined Cronulla on a one-year contract for 2024.
Burns, who debuted at Penrith in 2019, will provide depth for a side that has lost captain Wade Graham to retirement and struggled defensively on the edges at times in 2023.
His departure from the Dragons comes as new coach Shane Flanagan continues to configure his roster.
"I was attracted to the Sharks by how proud the club is, as well as the coaching staff with Fitzy (Craig Fitzgibbon) leading the charge," Burns said.
Australian Associated Press