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Hunter Paisami has shunned overseas offers to extend his contract with Rugby Australia and the Queensland Reds in a boost for the Wallabies’ 2023 World Cup aspirations.
The former Melbourne Rebels centre Paisami blitzed his second rugby chance at the Reds, making his Super Rugby debut and playing every Test under Dave Rennie in a huge 2020.
Leaving the squad for the birth of his first child this year, Paisami was unseated when Samu Kerevi was drafted in and the Japan-based No.12 starred to earn a world player of the year nomination.
When Kerevi didn’t tour the United Kingdom, Paisami was slotted straight back in and was among the Wallabies’ best in the the four-Test Spring Tour.
A destructive ball-runner and defender with passing and kicking nous to match, the 23-year-old Paisami is now locked into the Australian system until after the 2023 World Cup in France.
“He’s a good young man with an impressive skill set who’s only going to improve and that’s really exciting for Reds and Wallabies supporters,” Rennie said.
“His brutal defence and incisive carries were a feature on the end of year tour where he played his best footy in Wallaby gold.”
Queensland Rugby football boss Sam Cordingley said Paisami had attracted plenty of foreign interest before joining fellow Reds and Test players Filipo Daugunu, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, James O’Connor, Taniela Tupou and Harry Wilson in securing their futures until at least 2023.
“Despite a lot of overseas interest, Hunter has chosen to stay in Queensland which is great for the Reds and Wallabies leading in 2023,” Cordingley said.
“Hunter’s growth since joining the Reds has been exponential. It’s exciting to think that he has only been professional for two seasons.
“He’s an extremely tough individual and he has become a key part of our game since joining the club.
“It’s great that his family has settled up here in Queensland and Hunter now has a young family of his own.”