Wallaby Hardwick extends his Rebels experience
The Melbourne Rebels have announced that flanker Richard Hardwick has signed a new two-year contract to remain in Victoria until the end of 2020.
The 23-year-old has been restricted to six appearances since joining the club from the Western Force at the end of 2017, and is currently sidelined by a knee injury. But his desire to continue to hone his craft under the guidance of the coach that oversaw his breakthrough into Super Rugby is obvious.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Melbourne and here at the Rebels, so I’m delighted with the decision to remain at the club for another two years,” said Hardwick.
“The environment that’s being created at the Rebels is something that is really exciting to be a part of. Dave (Wessels) is at the helm of a rugby program and a culture that is grooming players to be the best they can be, and playing rugby that demonstrates a lot of love and care for their teammates.
“I think we’ve demonstrated that throughout this season, and I can’t wait help contribute to what we’re creating through the next stage of my career.”
Namibian-born, Hardwick came to the fore in the 2016 NRC, winning the Phil Waugh Medal in a man of the match performance that saw Perth Spirit lift the title by defeating the NSW Country Eagles in Tamworth. That form was cemented by 19 caps for the Force, and an ascension to the national ranks in June last year, where he made the first of his two Wallaby appearances against Fiji in Melbourne.
Rebels General Manager – Rugby, Nick Ryan, was understandably delighted to retain the services of a young talent with such huge potential.
“We’re delighted that Richard has re-committed his future to our Club,” said Ryan. “The ease in which the re-signing process has taken place and Richard’s willingness to want to stay here speaks volumes to not only what the Rebels are creating, but also Richard’s character.
“Richard is a highly-respected member of our playing group, but also the whole organisation. To be able to retain a player and person of his quality is a fantastic result for the club.”