Melbourne Rebels boss Baden Stephenson has doused any suggestion of a Super Rugby boycott from his players, guaranteeing they are all locked in for what could be more than a fortnight away from home to relaunch the season.
Melbourne Rebels utility back Reece Hodge has signed a four-year extension with both his Super Rugby club and Rugby Australia that will keep him with the Rebels and Wallabies until the next Rugby World Cup.
The 25-year-old has played 39 Tests for the Wallabies – scoring 97 points – since making his debut in 2016. His 2019 World Cup campaign was derailed by a controversial three-game suspension he picked up in the first group stage game against Fiji.
In 57 matches with the Melbourne Rebels, Hodge has 345 points, including 26 tries.
“I’m extremely happy to secure my future here in Melbourne, with the Rebels and Rugby Australia for the long term,” said Hodge.
“Since arriving in late 2015, the club has been my home and the people around the Rebels have become family.
“Regardless of where we have come from or played previously, the Victorian Rugby community and our loyal fans have always welcomed Rebels players with open arms.
“I look forward to playing my part in ensuring Rugby remains strong in Victoria for years to come,” he said.
Scott Johnson, Rugby Australia’s director of rugby, said Hodge was a “talented young player” who the Wallabies were stoked to have locked away for the next four years.
“He is a world-class goal kicker that can be a quality asset for the Wallabies for years to come,” he said.
“He’s had great experience already with the Wallabies and has an opportunity to build on that and set his sights on the next World Cup.”