Rory Arnold has shunned big-money interest from French glamour club Toulon to pledge his future to Australian rugby, signing a new three-year deal with the ACT Brumbies.
The 208cm giant has been a consistent Wallaby contributor since breaking through for his Test debut against England in June, the first of his eight appearances at international level this year.
Arnold is now in coach Michael Cheika’s first-choice starting team, along with regular second-row partner Adam Coleman.
Wary of the dangers of heading overseas too early in his career, Arnold said the lure of the Rugby World Cup in 2019 was too strong to resist.
“It was flattering to receive offers from overseas, and it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I am committed to the Brumbies, and Australian rugby, and am looking forward to attempting to stake a claim for a regular place in both the Super Rugby and international line-ups,” he said.
“It’s a new era at the Brumbies and there are a number of talented young players coming through the ranks both here and in Australian Rugby in general and it is an exciting time to be involved.”
According to French media reports, Toulon recently offered the 26-year-old an annual salary of 400,000 euros ($A570,000) to join fellow Australians Matt Giteau, James O’Connor and Liam Gill at the club.
Arnold, 26, only played his first rugby senior match in 2010 for the Murwillumbah Bananas’ third-grade team on the far north coast of NSW.