Western Force hooker Heath Tessman has re-signed with the franchise for the next two seasons.
Tessman, who captained the Perth Spirit to an NRC title last month, first joined the Force in 2013 as injury cover, but has become a vital member of their outfit.
The 32-year-old will have plenty of competition in the hooking ranks next year, with Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau joining the club, with rising star Harry Scoble and Anaru Rangi also in contention for Super Rugby berths.
Tessman said he was optimistic about the Force's future, thanking the club for its confidence in him.
“This is exactly where I want to be playing my rugby,” - Heath Tessman
“I’ve got a lot of faith in this club and this organisation going forward and it’s nice that they’ve shown faith in me as well.
“Dave’s [new Force coach Dave Wessels] a great appointment by the club and going forward all the coaches they have appointed are coming here for the right reasons. It’s already been great getting stuck into pre-season and the whole squad just can’t wait to rip in next year.”
Force coach Dave Wessels said Tessman was an important figure to the Force, both on and off the field.
“Heath is a leader both on and off the field,” he said.
“He’s very competitive, but he’s also a very outgoing social person around the club and when you blend those together you end up with a really nice mix.”
“I think competition is good for all of our tight five and it will bring the best out in each of them, while also having a really nice mix of experienced guys and a few younger men who will no doubt push them pretty hard.
"'Tess’ sets really high standards for the team and he’s a big part of our leadership structure next year.”