The speculation regarding the future of Damien Cook is over, with the South Sydney Rabbitohs hooker signing an extension which will see him remain at Redfern until the end of 2023.
According to reports from multiple outlets, the 2018 New South Wales Blues hooker has committed to the club for a further four-year extension, which also includes an upgrade for next season.
The deal is said to be worth a staggering $4.5 million, which will be a just reward for Cook being one of the best players in the game over the last 12 months.
If the reports regarding contract value are correct, it will leave Cook on approximately $900,000 per year, making him one of the richest players in the game.
The hooker has been under constant speculation over the past week about his eventual location, with many reports saying he was going to follow coach Anthony Seibold north to the Brisbane Broncos.
However, Seibold shut those rumours down last night ahead of today’s announcement, with the new contract at South Sydney a staggering show of faith by incoming coach Wayne Bennett, who was moved on from the Broncos over the weekend.
After making his debut for the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2013, Cook found a new lease on life at the Rabbitohs under coach Seibold last season as he racked up strong performance after strong performance, which eventually won him the coveted number nine jersey for the Blues.
He capped off the season by making his debut for the Australian Kangaroos as they played Test matches against Tonga and New Zealand in Auckland.
The signing of Cook is just one more part of the player merry-go-round ahead of the 2019 season, which is finally starting to settle into position following recent moves of Shaun Johnson, Dylan Napa and David Klemmer as pre-season gets underway.