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New contract places Slipper on track for most capped Wallaby title

By AAP
Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

James Slipper is on track to become the all-time most-capped Wallabies player after extending his contract with Rugby Australia and the Brumbies for another two years.

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The 34-year-old prop is on course to head to the Rugby World Cup later this year and will aim to continue on with the national team through the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour.

With 127 Wallabies caps since his Test debut in 2010, he’s poised to move past George Gregan’s all-time mark of 139 in the coming years.

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It’s the continuation of a remarkable turnaround for Slipper, who was fined and suspended in 2018 for breaching RA’s illicit drugs policy and went more than two years without playing for the national team, before working his way back and even captaining his country last year.

Slipper pointed to the 2025 Lions tour as perfect motivation to continue on with both club and country.

“That’s what I’ve signed for, so I hope I’ve got the gas in the tank,” Slipper said.

“I’m signing until the Lions, nothing past that. If I got the opportunity to play in another Lions series, it’d be massive because I had so much fun in the 2013 series.

“It’s just such a big occasion for rugby in our country and to have the opportunity to be a part of it would be massive.”

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Along with Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa, Slipper is set to play a huge role in the front row at the World Cup in France and is in Eddie Jones’ leadership group plotting the Wallabies’ quest for the title.

He admitted he’d turned his mind to playing for a different organisation during drawn-out contract negotiations but said he always wanted to stay in Australia with the Brumbies.

“I knew it was a possibility whether I played on here or somewhere else, I wasn’t too sure at the time (but) the Brumbies have been very supportive of me staying here and I’m a pretty loyal bloke,” Slipper said.

“I’ve really enjoyed coming down here five years ago now and calling Canberra home and that played a big part in it.”

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Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said it had been a personal priority to ensure Slipper didn’t end up wearing another club’s colours.

“But more importantly, ‘Slips’ wanted to be here,” he said.

“You can push as hard as you want to try and get a player but if they don’t want to be here then the environment is not going to be right.

“He’s fallen in love with Canberra, with the Brumbies, with the community and we’re ecstatic that he’s been able to sign on.”

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William 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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