Wallabies rookie Len Ikitau signs Rugby Australia contract extension
Centre Len Ikutau says a bromance beginning in his school days with teammate Darcy Swain has played a big part in re-signing with Rugby Australia, with the 22-year-old riding a fine streak of form for his country.
Ikitau has committed to Australian rugby and the Brumbies until after the World Cup in 2023.
The 22-year-old, who made his test debut against France in July, scored a double in Australia’s memorable 30-17 win over South Africa in their Rugby Championship clash last weekend.
Brisbane-raised Ikitau joined the Brumbies before the 2019 Super Rugby season and says he’s delighted to share the news with his close mate Swain.
“I’m just happy that I have my future sorted for the next few years and I’m just looking forward to it and ripping in,” Ikitau said on Tuesday.
Ikitau and Swain played first XV rugby at Brisbane Boys College in 2015 together before the pair reunited at the Brumbies.
Now representing their country on the international stage, Ikitau said he endured some struggles moving to Canberra initially and it was the support of Swain that kept him motivated.
“There was a couple of times I just wanted to go home and he kind of stopped me from from doing that, so I’m just thankful for having Darcy there,” Ikitau said.
“I guess we haven’t had the chance to look back at it (representing Australia), but I know that when we get time off it’s going to be something that we look back and be proud of.”
Ikitau was spotted by Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and selected in the test squad last year, despite less than 80 minutes of Super Rugby experience.
He has since become a regular in the line-up, playing in all seven Tests this year, and is set to feature in the 2023 World Cup in France.
“We’re thrilled for Len and his family that he’s committed to Australian rugby until the end of 2023,” Rennie said in a statement on Tuesday.
“He’s a great young talent and a humble young man who’s learning quickly what it takes to be successful at this level.”
The Wallabies are preparing to play Argentina in Townsville this Saturday after two draws with Los Pumas last year.
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