The Australian Rugby Union has locked away one of Rugby’s best young talents with NSW Waratahs lock Will Skelton signing a new two-year contract extension.
Skelton is one of the rising stars of Australian Rugby and at just 22 years of age has already earned eight Test caps for the Qantas Wallabies and has made 39 Super Rugby appearances.
The giant lock, who took up Rugby as a 15-year-old at The Hills Sports High School in Western Sydney, will continue his career with the Waratahs and his re-signing has provided a significant long-term boost to Australian Rugby's forward stocks.
Skelton said: “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,”
“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.
“Moving forward, we’ve got a great coaching staff at the Waratahs and I really think they’ll offer the best program for me to reach my full potential at both a Super Rugby and Test level.”
Skelton also said the opportunity to continue to push for a Qantas Wallabies jersey had enormous appeal.
“I can’t speak highly enough my experiences with Wallabies," he said. "I can assure you I’ll be doing everything in my power to gain selection once again.
“We’ve got so many great players in Australia, and it was a really special time to be part of the group. Once you’ve tasted it, it’s something you definitely want more of.
“Michael Cheika is creating a really strong bond between the players and it’s something I really want to be part of, not only during the upcoming Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup, but for many years ahead.”
"The group has come together really well over the past two weeks and the support since arriving in Brisbane has been enormous. We are expecting a very loud and passionate crowd at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night to bring us home."
At 140kg, Skelton is one of the powerhouse forwards in Australian Rugby, yet displays incredible stamina to often play the entire 80 minutes in Super Rugby.
He has enjoyed a meteoric rise since making his Super Rugby debut in 2013 and was an integral part of the Waratahs team which won their maiden Super Rugby title in 2014.
He also enjoyed one of the most hyped Test debuts since Israel Folau and lived up the billing with a stellar performance in Australia’s 39-13 victory over France in the third Test in Sydney last year.
In that game, Skelton scored the game’s opening try and also setup his Waratahs teammate Israel Folau in a devastating 56-minute performance.
Will Skelton Wallaby #883
Super Rugby Team: NSW Waratahs
Super Rugby Caps: 39
Super Rugby Debut: 2013 v Stormers
Test Caps: 8
Test Debut: 2014 v France, Sydney