Widnes Vikings forward Alex Gerrard has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2015 season.
The 21-year-old prop, who joined the Vikings in 2008, has played in all three rounds of Super League so far this season and scored his first try for the club in last Sunday's defeat at Hull KR.
Vikings coach Denis Betts said: "Alex made a decision to step out of university and delay his studies for a year to see if he could earn himself a full-time contract at the club.
"As a result of doing this, the commitment and level of improvement he has shown have both been fantastic and week in week out his performances are dictating that he is deserving of a place in the 17.
"It seems only fair that we utilise all of the energy and enthusiasm he has got and put it into the team and keep him here for as long as possible."