Ben McCalman re-signs on flexible ARU deal
ESPN Staff
June 2, 2015
Ben McCalman will remain in Australian rugby through to the end of 2019 © Getty Images

Wallabies No.8 Ben McCalman will continue playing for Western Force after signing a new three-year flexible contract with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).

McCalman has followed in the footsteps of Waratahs and Wallabies playmaker Bernard Foley in taking up one of the ARU's new contracting options, the governing body granting the No.8 the opportunity to play in Japan after this year's Rugby World Cup.

McCalman's retention is a massive coup for the struggling Force with the 38-Test veteran previously linked with a move home to New South Wales, and the Waratahs. But he has decided to stick it out in the west, after the Force first provided him with the opportunity to play Super Rugby.

"The Western Force gave me an opportunity early in my career and I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences here in Perth over the past six years," McCalman said via an ARU press release.

"We've made giant strides on and off the field over the past few seasons and it was important for me that I continued to be part of the journey. I feel it is the best place for me to play my rugby and continue to develop as a player over the next three years.

"I'd also like to thank the Australian Rugby Union for the opportunity to continue my rugby here in Perth. I'm excited about the opportunity to play a season in Japan at the end of the Rugby World Cup, before focusing exclusively on my rugby in Australia until at least the end of 2018."

McCalman's decision to remain in Australia shores up the Wallabies No.8 stocks with Scott Higginbotham and Wycliff Palu heading to Japan at the end of the year. McCalman. All three men will first be hoping to win a place in Michael Cheika's World Cup squad which will be finalised after the Rugby Championship.

"It's no secret that everyone wants to be part of the World Cup squad, but the only thing you can control at the moment is your own form at Super Rugby," McCalman said. "We've had a challenging season to date, but there is a strong resolve amongst the squad to turn things around, and I'm really looking forward to getting that started with an important game against the Brumbies on Friday night."

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