Haylett-Petty staying in Australia

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:24
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NEWS: Wallabies star Dane Haylett-Petty has committed his future to Australian Rugby, signing a two-year extension with the ARU and the Western Force until the end of 2019.

The exciting fullback enjoyed a memorable 2016, starring for the Western Force before going on to make his Test debut against England in June and then taking home the Wallabies Rookie of the Year at the John Eales Medal ceremony.

The 27-year old truly established himself as a Test regular, starting in each of his 14 Wallabies Tests and notching four tries.

"I'm very excited to be staying home and playing for the Force, obviously the draw card of trying to get back into that Wallabies team was a large part of my decision," Haylett-Petty said.

"I really enjoyed last year, the challenges week in and week out, watching my game grow and the Force were a big part of that and I feel like we're really heading in the right direction and we have a great group of young men with a bright future.

"Pulling on that Gold jersey was a goal I've had my whole career. I'm looking forward to the season ahead and hopeful of representing Australia again."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: "Dane's performances in 2016 spoke for themselves and our desire for him to stay and play in Australia show how much we value him as a player.

"We know that his best is yet to come and we will be working hard with Dane in 2017 to ensure that he achieves the goals he's set out for the next few years," Cheika said.

Haylett-Petty is somewhat of a late bloomer in the Test arena, having already played professional rugby in France (Biarritz) and Japan (Tokyo Shokki Shuttles) before returning to the Western Force in 2014.

A graduate of the Hale School in Perth, Haylett-Petty was born in Durban, South Africa before moving to Australia at 10 years of age. 

Haylett-Petty represented Australia Under-20s at the 2008 and 2009 Junior World Championships, and debuted for the Australian Men's Sevens team in Dubai in 2008.

"This is fantastic news for Australian Rugby and the club too," said Western Force head coach Dave Wessels. "Importantly for us is that Dane is a local player and everybody in Western Australia is proud of what he achieved this year.
 
"Although, I think more than that with the team's future in question for a player of his calibre to commit himself so publicly to us, just shows Dane's character and how much he cares for this team and wants to see it succeed."