Worcestershire Academy duo, paceman Josh Tongue and spinner Ben Twohig, have signed their first profesional contracts for the County while all-rounder Alex Hepburn has put pen to paper on an extension to his current deal after a prolific season of second team cricket.

Tongue and Twohig, both aged 17, have signed two year contracts which will take effect from October 1, 2015. Western Australian born Hepburn, aged 19, has extended his current two year contract until the end of the 2016 campaign.

Redditch born Tongue and Twohig are part of the Worcestershire CCC Academy 2014-2015 intake and both have impressed since graduating into the second team during this summer.

Their potential was recognised last month when both were selected – along with Ollie Westbury – to play for an England Development Programme Invitational X1 against Australia Under-19s at Loughborough.

Dewesbury born Twohig had previously played for the EDP Under-17 side against Pakistan in Dubai during the winter.

He recorded his best figures last week for the Second Eleven with 6-73 in the Championship match against Lancashire Seconds at Southport.

Hepburn has enjoyed an excellent summer in the Second Eleven, registering four centuries and also impressing with the ball. He scored 113 against Middlesex at New Road, 112 against Durham at Darlington, 119 versus Unicorns at Kidderminster and this week 101 against Warwickshire at Olton.

Hepburn also returned 5-66 against Leicestershire at Chester Road and had two other four wicket hauls.

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "Alex has had a good all-round season. We got him over (from Australia) when he was very young and he has taken a little bit of time to develop but now he is really kicking on nicely.

"He is developing into a very useful all-rounder and he thoroughly deserves his opportunity to get another contract and we are delighted he wants to progress his career and we expect some really nice things from him.

"With Josh, he is only very young, 17, and we don't want to expect too much, too soon. He is a very tall lad, gets bounce and presents a very good seam so he has got some very good attributes towards seam bowling.

"Matt Mason (assistant coach and bowling coach) thinks he is a terrific prospect and he has also got some ability to hold the bat. He can get runs down the order which is very useful.

"Ben Twohig is also only 17, another product like Tom Kohler-Cadmore from Malvern College, also with a lot of potential and has already played for the England Development Programme Under-17s against Pakistan last winter.

"It is the start of what we hope will be a lovely journey for Josh and Ben and, once again, they are two more products of our Academy system which we are delighted is working so well."

Worcestershire Academy Coach Elliot Wilson said: "Both Josh and Ben are precociously talented young men who for me have shown some outstanding character throughout the year.

"Josh Tongue has gone from not being on the Academy last year to coming onto the Academy this year and making some really significant strides forward to becoming a very exciting prospect for Worcestershire cricket moving forward.

"Ben Twohig has been with us for a while and always thought of very highly and now an opportunity has been created to bring him on full-time and he is happy and we are happy with that.

"Hopefully it will be the start of a very exciting period in both Josh and Ben's lives.

"With Alex, he has had a very successful year with bat and ball in second team cricket and continues to develop nicely and warrants the extension to his contract."