Young prop Tom Robertson has pledged his future to Australian Rugby, re-signing with the ARU and NSW Waratahs until the end of 2020.
The 15-Test front-rower has elected to stay in Sydney for a further two years and now has a chance to push for selection in what would be his first World Cup come Japan 2019.
The 23-year old became Wallaby 898 when he made his Test debut against South Africa in Perth last year.
“New South Wales is home for me. I’m very passionate about the Waratahs and Wallaby jersey and it means so much to me to get the chance to pull them both on,” Robertson said.
“There’s plenty still to do this season with the Wallabies, but I’m also really excited about next year with the Waratahs.
“We’re building some good competition for spots in the front row for both the Tahs and the Wallabies, which is good for the coaches but just makes me want to knuckle down and work harder to earn that spot,” Robertson said.
NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson says Robertson’s extension provides him with a platform to fulfil his potential on the rugby field.
“This contract extension provides Tom and us with long term stability in the front row,” he said.
The experience he has gained in such a short period of time and at a young age has been invaluable. And he is now at a point where he needs to push on and establish himself as a force in Super Rugby and for the Wallabies.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said, “Tom is still so young for a Test prop and now has the chance to really nail down a spot for the Waratahs as well as for the Wallabies.
“He’s managed to juggle his studies successfully up to this point, and that’s a real credit to Tom but also to Sydney University who have been very supportive of him.
“We as the Wallabies are all about building better people as well as better players, so to see Tom committing to that is very pleasing.
“We’re building some real depth across the front row and Tom is definitely part of that, but he’ll have to continue stepping up as he has done in the past season,” Cheika said.
Robertson, who can flip between loosehead and tighthead prop, first represented Australia as a schoolboy in 2012 before going to the Junior World Championships in 2014 alongside now-Wallabies teammate Jack Dempsey.
The Dubbo junior has also managed to juggle life away from the field, with the 23-year old partway through a medical degree at Sydney University.