Giant lock Will Skelton has re-signed with the Australian Rugby Union and NSW Waratahs for a further two years.
The 22-year-old, who played in the Waratahs’ Super Rugby-winning side last year, is expected to be named to face South Africa in the Wallabies’ opening Rugby Championship match in Brisbane on Saturday.
Skelton, who has played eight Tests for the Wallabies and made 39 Super appearances for the Waratahs after making his debut in 2013, will remain in Australian rugby until at least the end of 2017.
“I’ve been blessed to have had an opportunity to play for the Wallabies and to win a Super Rugby title, but I still feel I have a lot of improvement left in my game,” Skelton said.
“You need to have high standards for yourself and I’ve been working extremely hard throughout the year to work on all areas of my game to make me a complete 80-minute player.”
New Waratahs coach and former assistant Daryl Gibson, who has taken over from Michael Cheika, was delighted to lock in the 203cm-Skelton at the Sydney-based franchise.
“Will is the type of player that you can build a team around, he’s got a huge presence on the field physically and is one of the most skilful players I have coached over the years,” Gibson said.
“He had another excellent season in 2015, and is undoubtedly one of the highest performing forwards in Australian rugby, he’s growing into an outstanding player and leader within the club.”