Reds trio re-sign with Australian rugby
July 16, 2013
Liam Gill has proven his worth at both state and national levels © Getty Images
The trio, who share 73 caps between them, have also recommitted to their Super Rugby franchise the Queensland Reds.
Since making his debut off the bench against England in 2010, Wallabies prop James Slipper has earned 37 Test caps and said he was excited by what lay ahead for the national side.
"There is a Rugby World Cup in 2015 and as a player you want to be a part of that," he said. "I think it all starts with the Bledisloe and then two years of some big games coming up. I think the end-goal for any Australian rugby player is to become the best team in the world and I feel like we've got the players to do that."
While still relatively new to the international scene, flanker Liam Gill has received 10 Test caps since making his debut against the All Blacks in 2012. The 21-year old, who collected an additional two caps against the British & Irish Lions, said he was determined to remain in Australia.
"I've very excited and relieved that I've got the chance to stay in Queensland," Gill said. "I didn't negotiate anywhere else because this is the place I want to be, so I'm glad to say that I'm signed on for another two years. We've also got a great bunch of blokes here and I get along with them both on and off the field. The Rugby World Cup in 2015 is a long-term goal but that is a long way down the track and anything could happen. I'm certainly excited to be playing in Australia and for Queensland and if I'm lucky enough to fall under the Wallaby category, I can't wait for it."
After adding three Test caps to his name to take his tally to 26 since making his debut against the Springboks in Brisbane in 2010, lock Rob Simmons said his decision to re-sign was due to a desire to play more rugby with the Wallabies.
"Staying in Queensland is what I always wanted to do and I've got some big aspirations here but also for the Wallabies," Simmons said. "At the moment I'm just concentrating on improving myself as a player and then hopefully the Qantas Wallabies stuff will look after itself. It has been an honour to represent my country and I'll keep working hard to put myself in the best possible spot to do that in the future."
The re-signing of Slipper, Gill and Simmons brings the total number of players who have re-committed to Australian rugby this year to 16. The Queensland trio's state and national captain James Horwill has also re-signed through to the end of the 2015 season.
Other players to re-sign this year include: Nick Phipps, Sekope Kepu, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Burgess, Pat McCabe, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Ben McCalman, Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
"I had a couple of injuries before but this was different." Tom Hamilton talks to Scott Williams about the O'Driscoll tackle, Wales and Scarlets
"To be the best it's not about the flash stuff, it's actually about everything done at a very high level." Tom Hamilton on the England squad
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden