Hard-working No.8 Ben McCalman has become the second Wallabies player to secure a flexible contract allowing him to play in Japan, after agreeing to three more years in Australian rugby.
The new deal means 27-year-old McCalman will remain with the Western Force in Super Rugby until the end of the 2018 season.
His deal allows him to play the 2014-16 season in Japan’s Top League following this year’s Rugby World Cup.
It’s similar to the ground-breaking three-year deal given to Wallabies and NSW Waratahs five eighth Bernard Foley, although Foley is allowed two seasons in Japan.
Vying with Wycliff Palu for the Wallabies No.8 role, McCalman has played 38 Tests for Australia, including seven at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
He played nine Tests last year, including every minute of all four Europe tour matches against Wales, France, Ireland and England under new coach Michael Cheika.
He has also played 79 Super Rugby matches in six season with the Western Force.
While the Force have struggled this season and are in danger of collecting the Super Rugby wooden spoon, McCalman said he was happy to stick with them.
“The Western Force gave me an opportunity early in my career and I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences here in Perth over the past six years,” McCalman said in a statement.
“I feel it is the best place for me to play my rugby and continue to develop as a player over the next three years.
“The squad’s remained really tight and there’s still a lot of belief within the squad that we can play finals rugby in seasons to come, which I think we’re capable of doing.”