He may not have been a name on the team-sheet many would have known of or expected to excel straight away but Will Smith made his presence known early and has not looked back.
The utility back has re-signed with the Penrith Panthers until the end of the 2016 season.
After being given an opportunity at fullback, Smith has made the most of it and shown that he can go toe-to-toe with the best.
Staying at Penrith seemed like the right fit for Smith and he is excited for 2016 to begin.
“This club is on the rise and it’s great to know I will have the opportunity to be a part of that,” Smith said.
“Thereâ€™s a great culture here in Penrith, along with a great bunch of guys in the team.
“My first goal for next season is to cement a starting spot in the side â€“ that will be my focus.”
His first-grade debut came last year, with Smith playing in a total of nine NRL games to date. The club are pleased to retain him.
“We are extremely excited to have Will extend his contract with the Panthers for the next 12 months,” Panthers Executive General Manager Rugby League Phil Gould AM said.
“This season was a breakthrough year for Will and I suspect next year will be even better.
“He is an extremely talented lad, very popular with everyone at the club and I believe he has a long NRL career in front of him.”