Slipper pens new deal
Highly-rated prop James Slipper has re-signed with Australian Rugby Union and the Reds until the end of 2013.
The 22-year-old Queenslander, who is currently recovering from an ankle injury ahead of next month's Rugby World Cup, inked his new deal today in a major boost for both the Reds and Wallabies.
"It's good to get it (the contract) sorted out," Slipper said. "I've enjoyed the experience I've had to date, both playing for Queensland and with the Wallabies, but I really feel that I am only just getting started. Certainly I hope that is the case. I know I'll have to keep working hard and improving my game to make sure that it is."
Australia coach Robbie Deans, who handed Slipper his Test debut against England last June on the back of just three Super Rugby appearances, admits securing the prop's signature is a major boost.
"They're all important, but there's no doubt that keeping James was critical," Deans said.
"To achieve all that he did last year, off the (limited) background that he'd had, was a testament to his attitude, his belief and his work ethic."
"That he was able to kick on this season with the Reds, even though he had the misfortune to miss out on the finals, was another great indicator for his future.
"He presumes nothing and is prepared to do whatever it takes."