Panthers can confirm Will Smith has extended his stay with the club until the end of the 2016 season.

The 23-year-old utility back said he was excited to have secured another season with the Panthers.

“This club is on the rise and it’s great to know I will have the opportunity to be a part of that,” Smith said.

“There’s a great culture here in Penrith, along with a great bunch of guys in the team.

“My first goal for next season is to cement a starting spot in the side – that will be my focus.”

After making his first grade debut last season, Smith played nine NRL games for the Panthers in 2015.

“We are extremely excited to have Will extend his contract with the Panthers for the next 12 months,” Panthers Executive General Manager Rugby League Phil Gould AM said.

“This season was a breakthrough year for Will and I suspect next year will be even better.

“He is an extremely talented lad, very popular with everyone at the club and I believe he has a long NRL career in front of him.”