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The Canberra Raiders have re-signed promising young forward Hohepa Puru for the 2024 season, with an option to extend into season 2025.

Puru made his NRL debut in the Raiders round 27 match against the Sharks in 2023 and had an outstanding season at NSW Cup level for the club.

His versatility in the Raiders squad can see him play several positions including lock, hooker and in the halves.

Puru said he’s looking forward to the challenge of taking his career to the next level and working towards more NRL game time in 2024.

“I’m in a great routine at training. The coaching staff are helping me, and the playing group talk to me really well,” Puru said. “Making my debut this season was an awesome experience and I want to do my best to play more NRL games for the Raiders.”

Puru said working with the Raiders senior players was something that had really helped him in his first season with the club and would continue to follow their lead.

“Guys like Corey, Papa and Taps are all good mentors. They’re great on and off the field, they teach you what it takes to play that long and show you the route,” he said. “It’s no fluke, they live and breathe good habits. If I can follow what they do both on and off the paddock, I’m in good stead to play at a high level.”

Raiders NRL recruitment Manger Joel Carbone said the re-signing of Puru continued the club’s retention of young talent and he’d already displayed plenty of attributes that would continue to make him a valuable squad member moving forward.

“This is incredibly well deserved for Pep, considering how much he impressed in his first year with the club - he came in on a training contract, dominated the NSW Cup competition and earned an NRL debut,” Carbone said.

“Most importantly though, he earned the trust of the coaches and his teammates through his hard work and his character. He is an impressive young man and we’re very glad to have him here at the club.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.