JARRAD Stack’s decision to re-sign with Barrow Raiders for another two years represents something of a coup for the club, according to rugby director Andy Gaffney.

The importance of the second row, who can cover in the centre if needed, to the team was underlined by him coming top of the points table for head coach Paul Crarey’s player of the year award.

This was despite Stack missing several games in the recently-completed 2018 season due to injury.

Along with his new contract providing some security for Stack, it is another statement of intent from the Raiders that one of their big-name players has decided to stay on and Gaffney is in no doubt about the impact the Australian has had over the past two years.

“Jarrad is a very key signing for us and to get him on a two-year deal is good for him as well because it gives him a bit of stability,” said Gaffney.

“Jarrad is one of the most important players for the club and I know he’s been moved about a bit, but we’ve addressed that position with the players we’re bringing in and he’ll be able to play more in his natural position.

“For me, he’s been player of the year in a Barrow shirt, his work-rate is absolutely phenomenal in his tackling and support play, and he’s really a top-class player.

“He loves it here as well, he likes playing in front of the fans and he’s good on and off the pitch.

“He’s just an all-round class act and to have him here for another two years is a bit of a coup for the club.”

Along with being an important member of the pack on the playing side, Stack is regarded as one of the leaders within the squad.

He has captained Barrow on several occasions over the past two seasons as well and Gaffney is in no doubt having those types of individuals is key for the Raiders to keep progressing in the Betfred Championship, which will be expanded to 14 teams next season.

“He leads by example and he’s always going forward,” said Gaffney. “In defence, he never shirks tackles and he’s a good communicator on the pitch.

“He played at a high level in Australia before he came over here and they are the sort of players you want to keep at the club because you can’t buy that sort of experience.”