Newly-resigned Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini believes that a newfound balance in his life has been the catalyst for his impressive form.
The 22-year-old has emerged as a serious Wallabies contender for the July series against France, named Man of the Match during the Qualifying Final win over the Western Force.
Ahead of a Final rematch with the Reds at Suncorp Stadium on May 8, Valetini has locked down his future until the end of 2023.
He believes that the new contract, along with a new house, provides him with the added security to take his game to the next level.
“I'm just trying to focus on this week, very big week for us. It’s a big game this week against the Reds again in front of a big crowd at Suncorp,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“I’m just trying to set things up here for myself, hopefully, move into my new house soon so having security for the next couple of years and building on stuff other than Rugby.
“I guess the balance of Rugby and other things. I think the break that I had from Wallabies was a good one to just get away from Rugby so I could get into preparations and hit the ground running.
“I felt for myself that I took it to another level. I’m glad that I’m now stringing it together and hopefully continue that form.”
This has been evident from the coaching staff, with Brumbies assistant coach Laurie Fisher praising his development.
He believes that Valetini is almost unrecognisable to the player that left for Wallabies camp at the end of 2020.
“That’s great for him, great for us, and great for Australian Rugby,” Fisher said on Valetini's re-signing
“We can see the progress in his game over the last 12 months and he's matured as a person, they’ve gone hand in hand.
“He’s a real leader in our environment now on and off the field so it’s fantastic news.
“He’s a different person than what he’s been over the past couple of years. He’s more mature, much more thorough in his preparation, training a lot better than he has over the past couple of years.
“There’s certainly a lot going right in his life.”
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Valetini's re-signing adds to the growing core of Brumbies locked in for the future, with the likes of White, Alaalatoa and Banks tied down for the foreseeable future.
He believes that they can build on what they started in 2020, beginning with Saturday's Final.
“It’s always to have a lot of boys locked down in the same group,” he believed.
“I think we can build off some experience and take that into the next couple of years and build on what we’ve done in this grand final.”
It’s a rematch of the 2020 Super Rugby AU decider as the Reds host the Brumbies on Saturday 8 May at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST.Click here to purchase tickets to one of the most anticipated Rugby matches of the year.