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Wallabies star Izack Rodda inks Rugby Australia contract extension

By Alex McLeod
(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

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Wallabies star Izack Rodda has signed a two-year contract extension with Rugby Australia [RA] and the Western Force.

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Rodda’s new deal, which will keep him in Perth until 2024, comes after he joined the Force from French club Lyon ahead of the current Super Rugby Pacific season.

Previously a member of the Reds, the 25-year-old lock departed Australian shores in 2020 after he refused to agree to RA’s short-term pay cuts forced upon the governing body by Covid-19.

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However, Rodda took a hefty pay cut by returning to Australia to join the Force as he looked to resume his test career with the Wallabies ahead of next year’s World Cup in France.

After returning to his homeland following a season in France’s Top 14, Rodda was immediately thrust back into the Wallabies squad, and started in nine straight tests between September and November.

That is indicative of his value to Australian rugby, and, in a statement released on Tuesday, Rodda said the progression of the Wallabies was a significant reason behind his decision to re-sign with RA and the Force.

“I’m really excited to commit long term to the Wallabies and the Western Force,” the 34-test second rower said.

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“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last six months or so, firstly with the Wallabies last year and now with the Force in Super Rugby Pacific.

“It feels to me like both teams are building something special and that’s something I’m looking forward to being a part of.”

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie described Rodda as a “world-class lock” and said his vast experience at such a young age is invaluable for Australia.

“We’ve been really impressed with Izack’s attitude and work rate since coming into the environment last year,” Rennie said.

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“He’s a world-class lock and his long-term commitment to Australian rugby can’t be understated. While just 25 years old, he’s played nearly 40 tests and has already been to a World Cup.

“His confidence has grown as a leader and that’s evident in the impact he’s having at test level and at the Force.”

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Likewise, Western Force general manager Matt Hodgson said the franchise is “very excited” to have Rodda’s services for the next two Super Rugby Pacific seasons.

“Izack brings a great level of Super Rugby and international experience, which we are very excited to have at the Force,” he said.

“It’s fantastic for us and Australian rugby to have elite international players like Izack commit to being a part of our club moving forward.

“As an organisation we are working to become the leading rugby club in the world and attracting talented players like Izack will help us in that journey.”

RA chief executive Andy Marinos, meanwhile, added that the retention of Rodda is a “real positive” for Australian rugby.

“Izack’s re-signing is a real positive for Australian Rugby moving forward. He plays in a specialist position and has chosen to stay in Australia to further his international career and help bring success to the Wallabies and the Western Force,” Marinos said.

“Rugby Australia’s priorities continue to be targeting and retaining the best rugby talent in the country.”

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