Superstar Wallabies flanker David Pocock has re-signed with the Australian Rugby Union and Brumbies for three years, but will take a sabbatical from the game in 2017.
The 27-year-old will then return until at least the next World Cup in 2019, despite higher offers from overseas clubs.
Pocock said the year break would allow him to study and pursue outside interests.
“I really appreciate the willingness the ARU and Brumbies have shown in allowing me to weigh up my desire to be available for selection leading into the next World Cup against my longevity in the game and pursuing interests outside the sport,” he said.
“I believe that after 11 seasons of professional rugby, having a year away from the sport will help increase my years in the game I love.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said Pocock’s desire to stay with the Wallabies speaks volumes about his qualities.
“For him to commit to the end of 2019 shows he truly believes in the direction the Wallabies are heading in and how passionate he is about performing at his highest level for Australia,” he said.