German international Jimmy Keinhorst has been handed a new three-year deal by Leeds Rhinos.
Keinhorst, 22, made his debut against Wakefield in Round 22 and played in the Challenge Cup final defeat against Warrington, which was only his fourth senior appearance.
The centre is about to start the third and final year of a Sports Science degree at Leeds Met university, and will now become a full-time member of the first-team squad alongside his studies ahead of next season.
He said: “I am really happy to have signed a long term contract with the club. Studying at Leeds Met has been great for me and I definitely would not have got the chances I have had in Rugby League without the close ties between the university and the Rhinos. Paul Fletcher, our coach at Leeds Met, recommended me to the Rhinos and they signed me from there so it has all happened very quickly.
“I am excited about the opportunities I have at the Rhinos but I also want to finish with a strong degree after three years hard work so it will be a busy time.”
A former rugby union international, he made his international rugby league debut at the age of 17, while he also played rugby union on these shores for Otley RFC.
Coach Brian McDermott said: “Jimmy has impressed everyone at the club this season with his performances for the Under 20s and the first team and he deserves this new deal. For a 22 year old to have played at Wembley in his fourth senior appearance is an incredible achievement and something that will stand him in good stead for years to come.
“Jimmy is learning all the time and, no doubt, there will be times when things are not progressing at the current rate but we have a track record of supporting our young people through those tougher times and allowing them to fulfil their potential.”
Meanwhile, the Rhinos have confirmed that prop Ryan Bailey is under contract for next season.