The Melbourne Rebels have announced that scrum-half Nic Stirzaker has signed a new a two year deal which keeps him with them until at least 2017.
Stirzaker joined the Rebels as an Extended Playing Squad (EPS) member in 2012 and has made 24 Super Rugby appearances thus far.
Rebels head coach Tony McGahan said Stirzaker’s re-signing heralded another key retention success for the franchise.
“Keeping Nic in Melbourne for an extended period has certainly been a retention priority for us,” he said.
“We’re very pleased he shares our vision for the future at the Rebels, and securing him until 2017 will certainly help us in our quest to achieve that.
“Nic continues to show that he is capable of improving his game, and he has a wonderful attitude to his rugby.
“He has, and will continue to, work very hard in order to give himself the best opportunity to start matches for the Rebels, and all the club’s members and fans should share our excitement that he will remain here.”
Stirzaker was pleased to extend his stay in Melbourne, and cited the closeness of the playing group as a key factor in his decision.
“I am really happy to re-sign; I love it down here, and most importantly I get along really well with the guys at the Club,” he said.
“We have a tight group, and I think we are going to keep improving on the field.”
Stirzaker pointed to the greater stability in the club’s playing stocks as a vital step in helping the Rebels achieve success.
“It’s my fourth year at the Rebels, and this is the first time that the Club have really kept the majority of the squad (at the end of a season); I think that is really important, as we have a lot of quality young guys here who are only going to get better,” he added.
“With the likes of Tom English, Luke Jones and Sean McMahon just finishing on the Wallaby Spring Tour, you can see that we have the right sort of guys to move forward and that can only be good for the Club.”
Stirzaker is also looking forward to continuing to work with McGahan, although he conceded the intense training schedule is a challenge during the pre-season.
“Tony and I work well together, and to keep working with him is exciting,” he said.
“He’s putting us through another tough pre-season, albeit a bit of a shorter one with the NRC kicking off this year, but the squad are excited and we are all looking forward to getting back out on the park next year.”