Rising star Reece Hodge has re-committed to Australian Rugby and the Melbourne Rebels, signing through until the end of 2020.
The 22-year old enjoyed a dream year in 2016 after bursting onto the professional scene, making his debut for both the Melbourne Rebels and the Qantas Wallabies.
The versatile back now becomes the first Wallaby to re-sign beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“There were a few factors in the decision but the young tight knit playing group we have down here (in Melbourne) was definitely one of the reasons why I re-signed with the Rebels,” Hodge said.
“Being a part of the 2016 Wallabies squad with so many new faces felt like the start of our journey towards 2019 and it’s something that I really want to be a part of going forward.
“I know it will take a lot of hard work and consistent form to get there but just to have the opportunity to be playing rugby in Australia and striving towards that goal of playing for the Wallabies at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan is awesome.”
Qantas Wallabies coach Michael Cheika: “Reece took his opportunity in 2016, showing he’s got what it takes firstly in Super Rugby then at the Test level. There’s plenty of great young talent in Australia and Reece is a great example of what can happen when you take your chance.
“It’s great to see young lads committing to long-term deals and I know Reece is very excited about the years ahead for both Melbourne and the Wallabies,” Cheika said.
Hodge started nine of his 10 Tests in 2016, notching up two tries as well as two monster penalty kicks from his renowned booming right boot.
After representing the North Harbour Rays in the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship, the former Manly Marlin moved to Melbourne and stunned the Rebels faithful in his debut season, taking home the Super Rugby Rookie of the Year at the 2016 John Eales Medal awards night.
Super Rugby debut: 2016 v Western Force, Perth
Super Rugby caps: 12
Super Rugby points: 63 (9T, 3C, 4P)
Test debut: 2016 v New Zealand, Wellington
Test caps: 10
Test points: 16 (2T, 2P)
Photo Credit: Gallo Images