Australian Super Rugby's Player of the Year Michael Hooper has re-committed his future to NSW by signing a new agreement that will keep him in Australian Rugby and with the NSW Waratahs until at least the end of 2016.
"New South Wales is my home state and I always followed the Waratahs growing up," said Hooper.
"To get to extend my time with them is unreal. I've really enjoyed myself under Dave Dennis and the guys. It's a great place to be and the Tahs are on the way up, I'm looking forward to more good times."
Waratahs Rugby Head Coach Michael Cheika said that Hooper has a big future with the Waratahas.
"Hooper has been an outstanding addition to our squad this season," said Cheika
"His ‘lead by example' style of play and his passion for the NSW jersey have been inspirational.
"We see him as a long-term leader within our squad and that encouraged me to try and extend his term at NSW now, even though he was already in contract for season 2014. "
"We are extremely pleased that Michael decided to make NSW his home for the foreseeable future."
The new three-year agreement will ensure Hooper continues to play a major role for NSW and Australia through to the next Rugby World Cup and beyond.
Said Hooper, "Cheika is a really good coach who has done great things for us over the past year and I really look forward to extending and growing on how we are playing the game next year. With the players we have coming in, it's really exciting.
"To have clarity over what I'll be doing the next couple of years is great and I'm stoked to be staying in Australia and playing with the Waratahs."
This month voted Australia's Super Rugby player of the year, the 21-year-old came to international prominence last year when he played in all but two of Australia's 15 games following his debut against Scotland.
His standout campaign earned him the Rookie of the Year award, saw him voted as the team's ‘Man of Gold' by his peers four times from his nine starting matches and bagged him the team's internal ‘Player of the Tour' award for the four-Test Spring Tour.
As part of the resurgent 2013 NSW Waratahs side, Hooper's game has gone from strength to strength this year and he is expected to continue as a significant contributor in the Ewen McKenzie-led Qantas Wallabies line-up during both the Rugby Championship and Spring Tour.
"The job of the Australian Rugby Union and the provinces is to secure talent and Michael is a good example of an outstanding and consistent young player putting his hand up and coming to terms," McKenzie said.
"I'm really pleased about that and it's a good sign for Australian Rugby in the long haul. He is a guy who contributes every week and for example was players' player on the weekend against the All Blacks.
"He makes things happen in a game and is the ideal player to keep around. We've got a bunch of young guys who are emerging on the scene but in terms of Hoops he is playing against the best players in the world and stands out.
"He clearly showed that on the weekend and was influential in all aspects of the game. He is a good example of a player who is accruing experience and the sky is the limit."