Canberra Raiders have rewarded head coach Ricky Stuart with a new three-year deal, it was confirmed on Monday.

Stuart – who arrived in 2014 – will remain in charge of the finals-bound Raiders until the end of the 2023 NRL season.

It comes after former Raiders player Stuart guided Canberra to a top-four spot this season and turned the club into genuine title contenders ahead of Saturday’s qualifying final against Melbourne Storm.

“I’m honoured to be given this opportunity, to play for this club and now to be their head coach I’m so honoured and even more so today, I’m excited with the development of the club. It’s not just about coaching first grade it’s about the whole club,” Stuart said.

“My passion and enthusiasm for the club is 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I’m like the fan who sits out there and braves the cold. I want to win on the weekend and win a competition and I can assure you that every waking moment is about delivering that promise one day.”

Raiders chairman Allan Hawke added: “Ricky’s contract was up at the end of next year, but we wanted to give some surety to players that are off contract going forward and any new players coming to us, that Ricky will still be part and parcel of the whole operation right through until then [2023].

“One of the first things Ricky did when he came on as head coach was to get a group of leaders from the playing group and with them develop the values we would stand by as a playing group. They are still right with us which is why there is such solidarity and will among them.”

The Raiders ended the regular season in fourth position with 15 wins and nine losses from 24 games – 10 points adrift of the table-topping Storm.