Rob Valetini signs extension after being named SRP Player of the Year

Wed, Feb 22, 2023, 11:42 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
A huge hit from Rob Valetini to put the Highlanders on the back foot.

Backrower Rob Valetini has committed to Australian Rugby until the end of 2027 season.

Valetini's influence was recognised on Thursday, named 2022 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific Player of the Year as the best Australian player in the competition from the past 12 months.

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It kicks off the Rugby Australia Awards, which will run throughout February and March.

The Melbourne-born Valetini has become a mainstay of the Wallabies' set-up, playing in 29 of their last 34 Tests.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity and grateful for the support from my family and friends in my rugby journey so far," Valetini said in a statement.

“The boys at the Brumbies are like family now and coming into work every day with them, playing alongside my mates, is really special.

“I’ve got a lot of goals to achieve for both the Brumbies and the Wallabies and that’s what drives me every day to work hard.”

The news delighted new Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, with Valetini expected to play a crucial role in his set-up for the 2023 World Cup.

“Rob’s has the potential to be an influential player in Australian Rugby and his commitment to Rugby Australia is outstanding," Jones said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing his progression at Super Rugby level this season.”

“It’s difficult to overstate how important it is for the club to have Rob sticking around," Valetini's club coach Stephen Larkham added.

“I remember seeing Bobby as a kid before he came down and you knew then he had all the tools to be a special player, and that’s what he’s become. He’s world class.

“The amazing thing is he’s still got room to grow and mature, and I’m just so excited to see how he progresses from here.”

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