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Raiders extend Whitehead, Sutton NRL deals

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Canberra have received another boost on the eve of the NRL finals with the re-signing of Elliott Whitehead and Ryan Sutton until the end of the 2022 campaign.

Just two days after extending the contract of coach Ricky Stuart, the Raiders on Monday confirmed two-year extensions for two of their key forwards.

The deals come roughly six weeks before the pair looked set to enter the final year of their contracts, opening the door for rival clubs to make offers.

However, Whitehead, who will be 33 by the time his new deal expires, insisted he always wanting to remain in the nation's capital.

"I've absolutely loved my time at the Raiders so far, so to extend for another two seasons is fantastic and I know we're on the right path to achieving success," the England international said.

"I've seen this squad grow into something special over the past few seasons and I really wanted to make sure I stayed in Canberra and be a part of what we're building.

"I didn't want to go anywhere else.

"It's great news to get the deal sorted and my focus is now on having a really strong finals series for the Raiders and hopefully helping the club win a competition."

Sutton has been a reliable force for the Raiders since moving from Super League club Wigan at the end of last year.

"I set my signs on coming out to Australia and getting my foot in the door with the Raiders and I've been lucky enough to play more games than I expected in my first year," Sutton said.

The 24-year-old has played 13 games in his rookie campaign and stands to be one of four English players at Canberra next season.

With John Bateman already on the books, the Raiders have also recruited George Williams on a three-year deal.

While Raiders fans will undoubtedly be buoyed by the roster retentions, the future of star winger Jordan Rapana remains up in the air.

Rapana, 30, has been heavily linked with a move to Japanese rugby.

© AAP 2019