Wildcats second-rower Frankie Mariano has signed a 12-month contract extension that will see the powerhouse remain at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium until the end of the 2013 season.
The former Hull KR forward joined Trinity from MS3 Craven Park at the beginning of last season and impressed in his first full year of Super League under John Kear and the 25-year-old has performed admirably in the last five games after regaining his place in Richard Agar’s team.
Early in 2012 a series of niggling injuries along with the emergence of talented young pair Kyle Trout and Lucas Walshaw limited Mariano’s opportunities, but his recent run of form has caught the eye once more.
Mariano scored a try in the 31-30 victory over the Robins and produced a superb assist for Ali Lauitiiti in last Sunday’s win over Widnes to underline his importance to the team. The strong running back-rower has 39 Super League appearances to his name, 36 coming in the red, white and blue and will be hoping to smash through the 50 game mark next season.
The positive news is the latest in a string of contract renewals that have included Paul Aiton, Tim Smith and Ali Lauitiiti after signing Lee Smith on a permanent basis.
Mariano commented on his new deal: “It’s great that I’ve got a new contract and hopefully I can start next year how I have finished this year. I have finally found my feet now and it was injuries and performances that kept me out but now I’m being consistent and that’s how I want to start next year.
“I think there will be a good year on the cards but we aren’t thinking about next year ,I’m just concentrating on this weekend. There is a good vibe around the camp at the moment so we are just looking forward to this week.
“We want to go in playing well and we want to get right what we did wrong this week. Once you’re in the play-offs anything can happen so we could pull off a shock in there.
“It’s great to get the fans down here too and it’s a great feeling when they get behind you like they have been.”
Agar says Mariano was fully deserving of his deal.
“It is terrific for us,” said Agar.
“He has had a stop-start year and he wasn’t hitting the levels that we needed him to hit for him to be a player that would contribute enough for our team.
“We laid some challenges down to him five or six weeks ago and he has now totally gone the other way and was once again one of our best players last week. He’s breaking the line but more importantly he’s got one or two defensive issues sorted up so that’s great for Frank, he’s really earned his new deal.”
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