Ratchford’s enhanced contract extension now takes him to November 2020. The 28-year-old made his debut for Warrington in 2012 having previously played for Salford. He has gone on to make 160 appearances to date, totalling 550 points including 160 goals. In his first season Ratchford was part of the team that lifted the Challenge Cup trophy; the team’s third in four years.
Having made his England debut against France last autumn, Ratchford also played earlier this month in the Pacific Test against Samoa, crossing for a try.
Head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith said: “I’m delighted for Stef on his extension. He has been very consistent this year and has earnt the right for a longer term deal. He was already on contract for next year, but is mature enough with the right sort of temperament for us to extend his contract further. He works hard and is a good leader within our group. This is a nice reward for a lot of hard work and for how professional he is on and off the field. He’s played a versatile role for us very well over the years; he’s mainly played one position this year but I believe he would still have performed just as well in the halves or at centre. I’m delighted that he’s forced his way into the England set up too and has had that recognition.”
Ratchford added: “I’m delighted to get this over the line. I was heading into the last year of my deal next year and didn’t know what was to happen so I’m delighted that the club has chosen to extend my contract. This is my sixth season here and I’m really enjoying myself. The results and performances have been disappointing this year for the standards we set ourselves but if you look at the squad we know what we are capable of. The next few years are exciting with the young lads coming through and the current squad we have. The club is continuing to grow off the field as well as on it and hopefully, in the not too distant future, we can finally pick up that elusive Grand Final winners ring and achieve the goals we’ve set out for. Over the next few years I think the future is really bright for the club and it’s something I want to be a part of for as long as possible.”
Warrington legend Ben Westwood caught up with JJB on his 400th appearance to talk about the time he made his debut and how he helped launch the career of Gareth Ellis a week later. Hear more from him on tonight's show.