Rooster's coup: star cashes in with huge pay rise
THE Sydney Roosters have locked in Tongan powerhouse Sio Siua Taukeiaho, the man many now regard as the best front-rower in the NRL.
The 29-year-old prop spearheaded the Roosters to its second premierships in a row this year, then Tonga to victories over Great Britain and the Kangaroos, averaging 195m in the two Test matches.
His new contract at the Roosters, until the end of the 2022 season, comes just a week after the club also extended the contract of his front-row partner Jarred Waerea-Hargreaves.
Taukeiaho gets a huge pay rise, from around $300,000 a season to more than $700,000, to justify his position as arguably the premier prop in the game.
Three rival NRL clubs had expressed interest through his agent.
"I love this club and it's a big honour to be part of the team here at the Roosters," Taukeiaho said.
"Robbo (coach Trent Robinson) and the coaches have done a lot for me. With all the staff, we're like one big family so I'm very happy to extend my time here."
While the more glamorous players such as James Tedesco, Cooper Cronk, Luke Keary, Latrell Mitchell and Boyd Cordner dominated the headlines for much of 2019, it was Taukeiaho and Waerea-Hargreaves who laid the foundations for the Roosters' title.
The re-signing is a huge coup for Roosters coach Trent Robinson, who has developed Taukeiaho into such a barnstorming middle forward since he joined the club in 2015.
"Siua has worked hard to get to where he is, and he is always looking at ways to be better," Robinson said.
"He is also developing into a strong leader. It's really pleasing to have Siua locked in to our club's long-term plans."