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Lalakai Foketi re-signs with Australian Rugby, NSW Waratahs

Wed, 30/03/2022, 6:55 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Reds hosted the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

Waratahs and Wallabies centre Lalakai Foketi is the latest player to commit to Australian Rugby long-term, signing an extension until the end of 2024.

The 27-year-old experienced a breakout 2021 campaign, called into the Wallabies side for the final Test of the year against Wales.

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Foketi's commitment is a major boost for the Waratahs, having only signed a one-year deal last July, named to play in his 50th game for the club on Friday against Fijian Drua.

"My family's happy here and settled and I’m loving playing at the Waratahs, so deciding to extend my time here for another two years was a no brainer," he said in a statement.

“It’s an extremely tight-knit group at the Waratahs and there is a real sense of excitement about what this team can achieve, and I want to play a part in putting this great club back on top.

“I think scratching the surface of international Rugby at the end of last year made me incredibly motivated to stay in Australia and to continue to push for higher honours, especially with a World Cup next year.

“I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to extend my time with the Waratahs and the Wallabies.”

The news equally excited Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, pleased to secure his signature for the future.

"La is a quality man who adds a lot to our mob on and off the field," Rennie believes.

"He's had a unique journey to the Wallaby jersey and we saw how much it meant to him and our squad when he was selected for his debut in Wales last year.

"His quality distribution and footwork are a genuine point of difference but it’s his diligence to develop all parts of his game that has impressed us."

“Lalakai is a really likeable, super humble, popular member of the team who genuinely cares about his teammates, which is hugely important," Waratahs coach Darren Coleman added.

“He was a little late on the Super Rugby scene and had to bounce around the world before he got his gig here and his dedication and focus have seen him get the call up with the Wallabies.

“Lalakai is an ultimate all-rounder, he can ball play, he can carry and he’s really strong defensively and he’s now at a point where he's one of the most dangerous strike centres in the league and we’re glad he’s staying.”

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