Hardwick hanging around until 2020

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Promising Rebels flanker Richard Hardwick has put pen to paper on a fresh deal which will keep him in Melbourne until the end of 2020.

The 23-year-old has made a successful transition to Melbourne after a breakout 2017 with the Force - a year in which he caught the eye of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika en route to two Test caps.

He has struggled to force his way into the Rebels' star studded back row but has been a valuable player off the pine, providing a spark through his tenacious play around the park.

That's a role Hardwick hopes to build on when he returns from a knee injury.

"I’ve really enjoyed my time in Melbourne and here at the Rebels, so I’m delighted that the decision to remain at the club for another two years," Hardwick said.Hardwick is a promising talent. Photo: Getty Images"The environment that’s being created at the Rebels is something that is really exciting to be a part of.

"Dave (Wessels) is at the helm of a rugby program and a culture that is grooming players to be the best they can be and playing rugby that demonstrates a lot of love and care for their teammates.

"I think we’ve demonstrated that throughout this season, and I can’t wait help contribute to what we’re creating through the next stage of my career."

Rebels general manager of rugby Nick Ryan said the club was delighted to secure the services of the burgeoning flanker.

"We’re delighted that Richard has re-committed his future to our club," Ryan said.

"The ease in which the re-signing process has taken place and Richard’s willingness to want to stay here speaks volumes to not only what the Rebels are creating, but also Richard’s character.

"Richard is a highly-respected member of our playing group, but also the whole organisation.

"To be able to retain a player and person of his quality is a fantastic result for the club."

The Rebels face the Brumbies at GIO Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio.