Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is happy that Rob Valetini’s rate of improvement continues in Brumbies colors after the back rower confirmed a contract extension from Rugby Australia (RA) until 2023.
Man of the match in Saturday’s final qualifying victory over Western Force, Valetini built on his four test matches under Rennie in 2020 to be one of the best in this year’s Super Rugby AU campaign.
He will face a Wallabies teammate, 21-year-old Queensland Reds forward Harry Wilson, in one of the many spicy clashes that will decide the national crown on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.
Retaining Valetini is a victory for the Wallabies as they face increasing competition from overseas markets with the ability to outbid and attract top young Australian talent overseas.
“From an Australian rugby perspective, it’s incredibly nice to re-sign a player of Rob’s potential,” said Rennie.
“We saw some really big changes from Rob in the last week of our campaign in 2020 and to his credit he worked incredibly hard during the offseason and was a standout performer for the Brumbies week after week. .
“His impact on the game, with or without the ball, is impressive and it’s exciting for the Wallabies who are advancing.
Valetini said it was about repaying the faith RA and the Brumbies had shown him since the Melbourne product launched in 2018.
“The coaches and staff here have really helped in my development as a player and also as a person and I feel like I still have a lot of progress in me,” said the 22-year-old.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said Valetini has established himself as a young leader of the team.
“Rob’s development as a player is clear to everyone and his growth away from the pitch as a person is also really impressive,” he said.
“He’s really matured … he’s become one of the best coaches in the squad and understands what it takes to be a professional footballer every day.”
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