Wallabies and Western Force forward Ben McCalman is staying in Australia after extending his contract with the ARU.
Wallabies and Western Force forward Ben McCalman is staying in Australia after extending his contract with the Australian Rugby Union and the Force by a further two years.
The news follows in the footsteps of the retention of the experienced Brumbies front-rowers Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander, as the core of the recent Wallabies playing group begins to reaffirm their commitment to Australian rugby.
McCalman, who is a product of the Sydney University club but has been based in Western Australia since his debut for the Force in 2010, was forced to miss last season's entire Test programme due to a nerve injury in his shoulder, which was followed by a broken forearm during his return to playing duties at club level.
Although frustrated, the 24-year-old is determined to make up for the lost time this year in the quest to add to the 21 Test appearances he currently has, while also bidding for a spot at his second Rugby World Cup, in England in 2015.
“It wasn't easy missing out [on the Wallabies] last year but the break has given me a decent rest and added to the hunger to get back. I've had a good off-season, have enjoyed getting back into my work with the Force and can't wait to get started again,” said McCalman.
“There's a lot to look forward to this year with a new coaching team and a lot of new faces at the Force, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of playing against the British & Irish Lions, and then the Rugby Championship and end-of-year tour after that.”
Prior to last year's mishaps, McCalman had compiled an impressive Wallaby resume, despite often flying under the radar compared to some of his higher profile team-mates.
The versatile forward, who has featured in four different positions in the Australian forward pack, achieved the rare feat of making a Test debut in the same year, 2010, as he had made his maiden appearance in Super Rugby.