Experienced Qantas Wallabies and Aquis Brumbies prop Ben Alexander will continue his career in Australia after signing a new one-year contract extension through until the end of 2016.
The new deal will allow Australian Rugby’s most capped Test prop to add to his current tally of 72 Tests after initially making his debut for the Qantas Wallabies in 2008.
The 30-year-old currently shares the record-setting mark of 72 caps for a Test prop with NSW Waratahs loosehead and long-time international teammate Benn Robinson.
Alexander said he was looking forward to continuing his career in Australia.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities Rugby has given me in this country and when I weighed everything up in deciding my future, it became quite clear that this is where I want to be,” Alexander said.
“Representing the Wallabies and the Brumbies is something I’m very passionate about, and I feel both teams are trending in the right direction to have plenty of success over the next few years.”
The experience of Alexander will prove invaluable to Australian Rugby with the Test prop having already experienced the intense nature of a Rugby World Cup in 2011, along with starting all three matches against The British & Irish Lions in 2013.
Alexander said he hoped to use that experience to the team’s advantage as they tackle new challenges in 2015.
“While the end result wasn’t what we wanted, it was a great experience being part of the World Cup in 2011 and it is something I would love to be part of again,” he said.
“The squad learned a lot from the tournament and I’m sure those players who took part will be a lot better for the experience this time round.
“There is no doubt that World Cups are really special events, so I’m just working as hard as possible to put my hand up for selection when the moment arrives.”
Alexander has been a consistent performer for the Wallabies since his debut, including 48 matches over the past four years, an average of 12 Test matches per season.
Alexander reached his 50-game milestone in 2013 when he joined Al Baxter, Benn Robinson and former Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie as the only props to have done so at that time.
The milestone also saw Alexander become just the 38th player to feature in 50 games for Australia
POB: Sydney, NSW
Super Rugby Team: Aquis Brumbies
Super Rugby Caps: 112
Super Rugby Debut: 2008 v Reds, Canberra
Test Caps: 72
Test Debut: 2008 v France, Sydney