Namibian-born flank extends Rebels stay
Cape Town - The Rebels have announced that flanker Richard Hardwick is the latest player to commit his future to the franchise after signing a new two-year contract extension that will keep him Melbourne until the end of 2020.
After arriving at the Rebels from the Western Force at the end of the 2017, Namibian-born Hardwick has made six appearances for his new franchise to add to his 25-match Super Rugby career.
Hardwick won the Phil Waugh Medal in a man-of-the-match performance for the Perth Spirit in the 2016 National Rugby Championship.
In June last year, Hardwick made his Test debut in Melbourne against Fiji - he boasts two Wallabies caps.
Despite being currently sidelined with a knee injury, the 23-year-old said it was an easy decision to remain in Melbourne.
"I’ve really enjoyed my time in Melbourne and here at the Rebels, so I’m delighted that the decision to remain at the club for another two years," Hardwick told the Rebels' official website.
"The environment that’s being created at the Rebels is something that is really exciting to be a part of.
"Dave (Wessels) is at the helm of a rugby program and a culture that is grooming players to be the best they can be and playing rugby that demonstrates a lot of love and care for their team-mates.
"I think we’ve demonstrated that throughout this season, and I can’t wait help contribute to what we’re creating through the next stage of my career."
The Rebels' general manager of rugby Nick Ryan said Hardwick’s decision demonstrated a great show of faith in the franchise.
"We’re delighted that Richard has re-committed his future to our Club. The ease in which the re-signing process has taken place and Richard’s willingness to want to stay here speaks volumes to not only what the Rebels are creating, but also Richard’s character," he said.
"Richard is a highly-respected member of our playing group, but also the whole organisation. To be able to retain a player and person of his quality is a fantastic result for the club."