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Rising Wallabies star Rob Valetini re-commits to Australian rugby with new contract extension

By AAP
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is pleased Rob Valetini’s sharp rate of improvement will continue in Brumbies colours after the back-rower confirmed a Rugby Australia (RA) contract extension until 2023.

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Man of the match in Saturday’s qualifying final win over the Western Force, Valetini has built on his four test appearances under Rennie in 2020 to be one of the best in this year’s Super Rugby AU campaign.

He will butt heads with a Wallabies teammate, 21-year-old Queensland Reds forward Harry Wilson, in one of many spicy match-ups that will decide the domestic crown on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.

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Valetini’s retention is a victory for the Wallabies as they face increasing competition from foreign markets with the capacity to outbid and entice Australia’s best young talent offshore.

“From an Australian rugby point of view it’s incredibly pleasing to re-sign a player of Rob’s potential,” Rennie said.

“We saw really big shifts from Rob in the last week s of our campaign in 2020 and to his credit he’s worked incredibly hard in the off season and has been a stand out performer for the Brumbies week in week out.

“His impact on the game, with or without the ball is impressive and that’s exciting for the Wallabies moving forward.”

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Valetini said it was a case of repaying the faith RA and the Brumbies had shown in him since the Melbourne product debuted in 2018.

“The coaching and staff here have really helped in my development as a player and also as a person and I feel I’ve got a lot of improvement left in me,” the 22-year-old said.

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said Valetini had established himself as a young leader of the squad.

“Rob’s development as a player is clear for all to see and his growth away from the field as a person is also really impressive,” he said.

“He’s really matured … he’s become one of the best trainers in the group and is understanding what it takes to be a professional footballer day in day out.”

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Shaylen 7 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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