Melbourne Rebels captain and Wallaby Dane Haylett-Petty has turned his back on big money overseas to sign a new deal which will see him remain in Australian rugby until the end of 2021.
Haylett-Petty has resisted joining a post-World Cup Wallabies exodus and instead followed his coach David Wessels in re-committing this year to the Rebels beyond the current season.
The 29-year-old, who has 31 Test caps, said he felt his rugby had flourished since arriving in Melbourne last year from the Western Force.
"This environment has really helped me develop as a player on the field, and as a leader off the field," said Haylett-Petty, who also spent three years playing in France.
"I wanted to do what was best for my development as a rugby player, and that was to stay here in Australia and to continue my journey here at the Rebels and Wallabies."
While the World Cup in Japan later this year was a lure, Haylett-Petty said his focus was firmly on helping the Rebels play in their first Super Rugby finals series.
"There's a special feeling around the club at the moment - just missing out on finals in 2018 really refocused us as a group," he said.
"You can feel it in every team meeting, every field session, every review; there's a desire there to get better with everything we do."
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said South African-born Haylett-Petty had grown into a leader of the Test team since making his debut in 2016.
"Dane is a real competitor and has quickly stepped up to the standard of Test footy," Cheika said via a statement.
"The outside backs are a really competitive position in our side and Dane often leads the way in how he prepares during the week and his commitment during games on the weekend.
"He's had that experience overseas which has helped mature him as a footballer and I know how desperate he is to have a big part to play in the World Cup later this year."
The Rebels have a bye in the second round this weekend, giving them more time to recover from a campaign-opening win over the Brumbies.
Australian Associated Press