Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have seen off interest from a couple of leading sides to tie down form prop Kyle Amor.
The much-improved front-row had attracted interest from Hull FC among others following his eye-catching displays of late.
Amor initially arrived on loan from Leeds Rhinos last season before the two clubs agreed a unique deal for this year which saw him join Wakefield but give the defending champions an option to re-sign the Ireland international for 2013.
However, he will now remain at Belle Vue and become part of Richard Agar’s long-term plans.
Amor is contracted until the end of 2014 and the head coach admitted: “We’re delighted that Kyle is staying with us.
“As the season has progressed he has got stronger and developed his all-round game.
“He’s got a real desire to keep pushing forward and we hope he can continue to develop with us in the next couple of years.”
Indeed, Amor’s relentless drive up front alongside fellow prop Andy Raleigh helped form the bedrock for Tim Smith and Paul Sykes to flourish in Trinity’s seven-game winning run which was only ended in their play-off defeat at Headingley a week ago.
“We always had confidence in ourselves,” revealed the player, who initially came to prominence with part-timers Whitehaven before making a handful of Super League appearances with Leeds.
“Perhaps at the start of the year we weren’t defending as well as we could have but once we all got to know exactly what Rich (Agar) wanted from us individually then it really began to improve.
“Last year I was a lot about wanting to rip in and prove that I was good enough at this level, whereas this year there’s been a lot more attention to detail of aspects of my game which have helped with my consistency.”
Amor has certainly started to cut out the needless errors which frustratingly used to blight his game and he has clearly grown in confidence.
Agar, meanwhile, is in the market for another front-rower to help share the workload.
Ex-Kangaroo Mark O’Meley was a target but has since re-signed for another 12 months at Hull.
After making 17 signings last winter, Agar concedes this time around there will be far less surgery required on his squad.
“I don’t think we need too many,” he said. “I certainly think we need a bit more firepower up front, an ability to hold the middle of the field better defensively.
“We’ve got a lot already in place and it would be wrong to try and change that too much. But we do have to add more punch so we can hold our own against better packs more consistently.”
It would be no great surprise if Steve Southern, the Australian second-row who struggled to make an impact, is offloaded to free up a quota space.
But, if not, Wigan’s Stuart Fielden and Huddersfield’s Keith Mason would fit the bill.