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Rugby Australia re-sign 'world class' Valetini to long-term deal

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Powerful backrower Rob Valetini has committed his future to Australian Rugby by signing a four-year extension with Rugby Australia and the ACT Brumbies through to a home Rugby World Cup in 2027.

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Long regarded as a player of significant potential the 24-year-old is entering his prime years as Australian Rugby looks forward to a golden decade including a British and Irish Lions tour in 2025.

He celebrates his new contract by being named the 2022 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific Player of the Year, following his sensational form for the Brumbies last season, who fell one-point short of reaching the Grand Final.

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The presentation kicks-off the 2022 Rugby Australia Awards, which will be announced throughout February and March.

Influential on both sides of the ball, Valetini’s Rugby journey began in Melbourne before making the move to the nation’s capital after school to sign with the Brumbies, where he developed through the National Rugby Championship with the Canberra Vikings before his Super Rugby debut in 2018.

Valetini became the Brumbies’ youngest player ever to earn 50 Super Rugby Caps in 2022 and has already claimed the club’s prestigious Brett Robinson Players’ Player of the Year award after a breakout season in 2021.

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He made his Wallabies debut in 2019 against Samoa and has gone on to make 30 appearances in the gold jersey to date, featuring in 29 of Australia’s past 34 Test matches dating back to the 2020 Rugby Championship.

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Valetini will start in the backrow in tomorrow night’s Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific opener in Sydney, looking to continue his strong form in ACT colours and earn a spot in Eddie Jones’ squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Wallabies and ACT Brumbies backrower Rob Valetini said: “I’m thankful for this opportunity and grateful for the support from my family and friends in my rugby journey so far.”

“The boys at the Brumbies are like family now and coming into work every day with them, playing alongside my mates, is really special.

“I’ve got a lot of goals to achieve for both the Brumbies and the Wallabies and that’s what drives me every day to work hard.”

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Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said: “Rob’s has the potential to be an influential player in Australian Rugby and his commitment to Rugby Australia is outstanding.”

“We’re looking forward to seeing his progression at Super Rugby level this season.”

ACT Brumbies head coach, Stephen Larkham said: “It’s difficult to overstate how important it is for the club to have Rob sticking around.”

“I remember seeing Bobby as a kid before he came down and you knew then he had all the tools to be a special player, and that’s what he’s become. He’s world class.

“The amazing thing is he’s still got room to grow and mature, and I’m just so excited to see how he progresses from here.”

-Press Release/Rugby Australia

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